In a space that formerly housed Max's Opera Café, yards of fine silk in muted shades of cream and green now provide a peaceful, upscale backdrop to the modern Vietnamese cuisine at Bong Su.
While Bong Su, whose name means plumeria, is new-ish, its dishes are not. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the masters at Slanted Door should surely be flattered by the pretenders at Bong Su. Showing little imagination, Bong Su offers standard appetizers like shrimp spring rolls, green papaya salad, and seared day boat scallops, as well as tried and true entrées like curry tamarine prawns and the ubiquitous shaking beef.
The overly loud music prevents diners from enjoying a potentially peaceful atmosphere, while drowning out the friendly servers. The wine list features numerous half bottles, including the standard Riesling and Gewürztraminer offerings that complement Vietnamese food so well.
While Bong Su does not disappoint, neither does it innovate. The originals at Slanted Door have nothing to worry about from this Nguyen-come-lately.