Really went to town at one of my favorite San Jose eateries last night. It is Anh Hong (known also as the Seven Courses of Beef restaurant) located at King and Tully in the Lion Plaza. Well recognized and well attended by the local community, it consistently serves up a satisfying variation of the well known Vietanamese classic.
Staring with Goi Bo or spicy beef salad, a small but satifying combiantion of cooked beef, carrots, fish sauce and peppers get things underway.
Following this Beef Fondue cooked in a light broth is presented beautifully with blood red, paper thin rump steak slices layed out on a large plate. I rolled the barely cooked beef in rice paper with heaping mounds of julienned jicima and carrot that is flavored with rice vinegar. In addition, huge platters of incredibly fresh greens including mint, cilantro, romaine lettuce leaf, and rao-rum are cramed and compressed onto the rice paper before rolling and sealing.
Dipping sauces include the classic fish sauce, carrot and pepper conconction and a stronger anchovie sauce.
Next comes a platter of rolled slices of lemongrass beef, beef wrapped in Lot leaf and plump Vietanamese sausages, all fodder for more rice paper roll-ups. The flavors are intense, authentic and pleasurable.
Last is a mild beef and rice soup, delicately flavored and a nice light, feast ending touch.
All this for $13.50. Fresh lemonade is a buck.