A few of the downtown Oakland worker bees (and those free on a Friday afternoon) did a Chowhound lunch at Huynh yday.
Very busy place so we got there just before noon (and had made reservations which made the staff happy - I heard someone mention that they were thanked for doing so) and got down to eating.
Decor is nice - not a hole in the wall kind of place (good for those friends who aren't into hole in the walls or quite as adventurous as the rest of us :) -
menu is big (90+ items) - listing these categories: Hu Tieu (noodle soup entrees), pho, hot & sour soups, vermicelli in bowl, fine vermicelli (on plate - not sure what is different here other than the bowl/plate!), rice plates, sate sauce, shrimp base sauce, coconut sauce, fish sauce, vegetarian rice plates. They also have a daily special.
We ended up with 6 dishes for the 7 of us - the table was more than full - tab came to $9 each including tip.
The dishes were: canh chua ga (hot & sour soup with chicken #29) - supposed to be spicy, but I didn't think it was enough. Not a big hit with anyone.
Bun Bo Nuong (36) - grilled beef over vermicelli and also bun heo tom nupong (grilled pork & prawn over vermicelli #42) - I liked both of these. The meats were tender and had good flavor, the rice noodles weren't overcooked and the veggies (bean sprouts, cucumber, etc) were very fresh). Nathan and Shelly both gave this their top vote.
Ca-ri Ga - chicken curry (#80) - Shelly said she usually ordered the vermicelli but really liked this dish.
Mark S' favorite was the ga saigon (huynh special gourmet sauce chicken)
and last but not least we had 2 tofu dishes which
Mark W, Jennifer and I really enjoyed - the
com dau hu xao lan (#88) a tofu saute with coconut milk and dau hu xao ca nau (90) tofu and eggplant in spicy plum sauce.
All in all, nice spot, fresh good quality ingredients, jamming during lunch hours M-F so service can be iffy -
the servers are definately kept running and forgot some of our requests - altho a plus, there was a pitcher of water on our table so at least we didn't have to ask for refills!
381 15th Street
Menu says they do lunch M-F and lunch/dinner on weekends.