Finally tried these two much discussed places these past couple of weeks and just wanted to give a report.
first, the good fork: I was really looking forward to my meal here and wanted to like it. Unfortunately, it was a real disappointment. The cocktails and app were good, but the mains really fell down. my friend's risotto was mushy on the outside, hard on the inside. the much vaunted steak and eggs had no char on the steak and an overwhelming sweetness from some kind of teriyaki type marinade. the kim chee fried rice alongside looked orange but had no discernable taste of kim chee. The two guys had burgers which they also said weren't good, which is a shame, as i could have been happy using the place as a cocktail, app and burger joint.
also, the decor didn't do much for me. and the service was a little slapdash, but unless it's a really nice restaurant i'm not too fussed about service. i'm just throwing it in there because i didn't like the place.
now on to the good stuff: Ba Xuyen is great! went this weekend and tried the BBQ sandwich, the tuna sandwich, and the meatball sandwich. The BBQ was my least fav--didn't really seem like BBQ, more like spam. The tuna was good and I would have fallen in love with it except that it wasn't quite as good as the sesame pancake with tuna at the dumpling house on eldridge street, which i consider to be an amazing tuna sandwich. Ah, but the meatball, the meatball was a revelation! what a delicious sandwich--soft, juicy meatballs glazed with a slightly sweet sauce, put in the bread with all the fixings. Can't wait to try the grilled pork next time. Also had a papaya shake, which was good, though i thought small for the price. Can't wait to go back!