So I had this hankering for something different than just pho at the local Pho 79 in Alhambra and noticed that there is a Beef 7 Ways dinner. Being able to rally up a few friends for this dish has been hit and miss lately, until tonight. My MIL wins some dough on her casino trip and wants to treat us to dinner. Cool. So I tell her that we were planning to try the Vietnamese Beef 7 Ways.
Instead of going to Pho 79, we go to Vietnam House in San Gabriel. VH is a larger and less tightly packed version of it's sister restaurant Golden Deli. I ask the waiter how does the $11.95 Beef 7 Ways (Bo 7 Mon) work? He explains that the portion is to feed 1-2 people, we had 5, and we should order 2 orders if we want to order other stuff.
We end up ordering the 2 orders of B7W, imperial rolls, shrimp paste, and spring rolls. We get the imperial rolls and shrimp paste first, so we begin to nosh on this, trying to save room for the rest of the meal.
The first B7W dish to come out is a small plate of shaved beef with a boiling dish of onion laced vinegar broth. Acompanying the beef is a giant dish of lettuce and herbs, another dish of sprouts, cucumbers, and egg plant(not sure about this item), and a plate of the spring roll wrappers. We look around to figure out how people are eating this and observe that the beef is dipped to blanch the meat, and then wrapped in the wrapper with lettuce and whatever herbs and veges you'd like. This wrap can be dipped with a sauce with pineapple pieces, or the standard fish sauce concoction. Pretty good so far.
The next plate that arrives has 4 renditions of beef. Two kinds of meat balls, and two kinds of grilled curled shaved beef. One of the curled beef has some black seaweed or something and was my favorite of the two. I only ate the larger of the two meat balls and really liked that too. The large meat ball reminded me of shanghai style Lion Head meatballs. The smaller meatballs I didn't try, but are sitting in our fridge for later consumption. All in all these 4 ways were good. Very different from my previous experiences with Vietnamese food.
By this time I'm wondering if the other two dishes are still coming since we are getting full. My In Laws don't really chow down, so they wonder if we are getting full. I interpret it as, they are still hungry and want something more familiar, so a large bowl of pho tai is ordered. Just as the pho arrives, so do the final two beef dishes. One of cooked shaved beef on a bed of lettuce, topped with red onions, and drizzled with a tasty vinegrette. The last beef way is a light soup of rice, pieces of beef, and a sprinkling of cilantro. These last two dishes were my favorite of the 7.
We depart Vietnam House stuffed, satisfied, and wiser about Bo 7 Mon or Beef 7 Ways.
710 West Las Tunas Drive
San Gabriel, CA 91776