Glitz Does Not Mean Fake at Le Viet

Craig LaBan finds that Le Viet’s goodness isn’t only skin deep as the restaurant provides Authentic Vietnamese flavors.

When I think of the dishes that would draw me back to Le Viet, the most exceptional flavors reside in the “appetizer” section of the vast, 77-item dinner menu. [Chef] Sinh’s standard spring rolls (“cha gio”) are just so-so. But his clever variation called “cha gio re” is memorable, replacing the usual one-dimensional pastry wrapper with the shattering crunch of a tube made from spun threads of crispy crepe batter. The most unusual here is “hen xuc banh da,” a central Vietnamese mince of baby clams blended with onions and ground beef cradled in a speckled rice-cracker bowl that looks like modern art. It was topped with minty basil and crushed peanuts and tossed in a complex sweet and sour oyster sauce. I broke off cracker shards and devoured it as if it were some divinely exotic clam stuffing.

Two Bells – Very Good

Le Viet (two bells) sets an ambitious standard for Vietnamese dining [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Le Viet [Official Site]