Despite the lack luster reports from this site and others I ended up at Hue on Friday and was pleasantly surprised.
Nothing earth shatteringly delicious, but I liked their shrimp paste around sugar cane as it had a lot more shrimp and a lot less cane than other renditions in the city. The beef salad was great and they didn't skimp on the fish sauce. They had a curried rack of lamb appetizer that was fantastic.
Their pho was disappointing, it came with everything thrown into the bowl so I didn't get to do it to taste. It was a little sweet (!) and not spicy enough. Also not enough basil or bean sprouts (perhaps these are more popular in the Saigon region?)
Our waitress was great, with definite opinions about what was good and what wasn't and though we didn't follow her choices to the letter, she never steered us wrong. She said the staff is required to be very knowledgable about the food. Not sure I believe that but SHE certainly was.
One last thing... passion fruit cosmo. GET IT. Sour, sweet, good amount of alcohol... great way to start the evening.
The space is beautiful and much more intersting and amenable downstairs. Upstairs is a little too noisy with the bar. Granted this type of place is usually packed with the kind of people who are more into the scene than the food. (I overheard one woman ask if the pho could be made without beef!!!!!! What's the point?!?!?! She should have just gone to Olive Garden.)
Hue is no different, but if you ever find yourself in a situation where you have no other choice, it won't be a total wash. There are some real gems on the menu.
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