A group of 8 hounds paid a visit to Dalat, near SJSU in what seems to be a fairly multicultural neighborhood w/ houndly potential (address below). I was predisposed to like Dalat since I was actually born in that temperate, agricultural city of Vietnam northeast of Saigon. Having visited a few years ago, I like to describe it as the "Napa of Vietnam." Of course, terraced rice fields replace the vineyards.
I'm not really sure why the San Jose restaurant is called Dalat. I guess I was too immersed in conversation to chat it up w/ the friendly waiter, but I'll find out more about the connection next time. Anyone know? To show my further cluelessness, I don't really know what the food specialties of Dalat are besides what they grow there like coffee, strawberries, and other products. I do remember having excellent pho ga and coffee in that town though...
So here's what I do know about THIS Dalat. It's a great place for eating and going w/ a group! This was my second visit and the food and service seemed very consistent. Since the menu is heavy on individualized dishes (bun, com, noodle soups, etc), we decided to order a few appetizers to share and then each person got their bowl of choice w/ some samples exchanged here and there (we're hounds after all!). Link to my Kodak Gallery album (no registration necessary, just click on the photo):
Jellyfish, pork & baby lotus root salad
Rice paper rolls w/ shrimp and pork loin (goi cuon
)Squid salad (goi muc)
#48 Hu Tieu Dalat w/ bean thread noodle (dry style, meaning broth is served on the side)
#47 Hu Tieu Dalat w/ rice noodle (dry style)
#26 Bun Tom Thit Nuong: rice noodle w/ shrimp and grilled pork. Nuoc cham served on side. (4 orders...this was popular!)
#34 Bun Nem Nuong: rice noodle w/ pork meatball
#33 Rice noodle w/ shrimp on sugar cane and spring rolls
Unfortunately, they only serve banh cuon on the weekends, but I'm definitely going to return for that! There are many other dishes to explore as well. Hope my fellow hounds will elaborate on their personal dishes and overall impressions. I'll add more later. If anyone is interested on being on the email list for these monthly Thurs. lunches, feel free to email me at email@example.com
408 E William St
San Jose 95112
**Edited to add pricing: Prices generally range from $5-10 a dish. Total for each person w/ a generous tip for attentive service: $18pp. (LOVE the edit feature!)