Ruth Lafler is surprised by the tastiness of Xyclo. It has all the hallmarks of cruddy food: upscale, “modern Vietnamese” cuisine, with gringo-friendly surroundings. But the food is damn fine.

There are very good fried spring rolls—crisp and wholly ungreasy. There are excellent raw rolls, sparklingly fresh, and well-balanced in the filling department. Bun Cha Hanoi is fresh and flavorful, with nicely charred meat and tender noodles. Steamed tofu is silky and deliciously sauced, and garlic noodles are nice—not overpoweringly garlicky, like in some other versions.

Xyclo [East Bay]
4218 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland

Board Link: Xyclo (Oakland) —a pleasant surprise

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