Restaurants & Bars 6

[PDX] Coupon Cuisine: Yen Ha

Nick | Oct 5, 200401:21 AM

Continuing with the coupons, we hit Yen Ha for dinner tonight. It's located on NE Sandy around 68th, not far from places like Sam Ho, Thien Hong, and Pho Oregon. It's a bit of a dive inside and out, like most Vietnamese and Chinese places on that side of town. That's part of the reason we've never hit it before. My wife prefers non-dives.

Here's what we ordered:

#4, Tom But Lo: broiled shrimp stuffed with pork. Served with salt, black pepper, and lime. $2.95.

#12, Goi Ga Rau Ram: marinated chicken, mint, sweet and sour cabbage, topped with peanuts. $5.95 (for a small).

#127, Ga Ro Ti: Roasted game hen and sweet rice cooked with coconut milk. $7.95.

#155, Banh Hoi Chay: Deep-fried tofu with vermicelli served with assorted vegetables, rice paper, and peanut sauce. $6.95.

The shrimp item was really two shrimp opposing each other wrapped with ground pork, breaded, and fried, served with a tasty not-too-sweet and sour sauce. There was just one for the $2.95. But it was pretty fat. The crispy outside was quite nice, though the ground pork was a bit dense.

The salad was huge. It was like the size of a chain salad from Applebees or Red Robin. I don't know how big a large would be. It was a nice balance of flavors. The chicken was quite tender. It came with red onions and fried onions in addition to the items in the description. It was a bit too redolent of fish sauce for my wife, but I liked it.

The roasted game hen had a wonderful flavor. It was a whole bird with a flavorful skin. The skin wasn't crispy, but was soaked in some sort of sauce. The meat was very tender and juicy. On the side came two rolls of orange sticky rice (why orange, I don't know). It was lightly flavored with coconut milk. They provided a sauce in a ramekin that had a earthy ginger flavor and a bit of spiciness. It was very good.

My wife's dish was essentially make-your-own salad rolls. The tofu was nicely cooked with a very good crust. There were multiple kinds of very fresh mint and other herbs. There were also bean sprouts, carrot shavings, sliced cucumber, sliced granny smith apple, two types of noodles, peanut sauce, and the choice of rice paper or lettuce to roll it all in. A little bit of a pain and I am one who prefers to let a chef make my food when I go out. I ended up making them all for my wife. There was really too many noodles. I probably ended up making 8 rolls and still had plenty of stuff left over.

I was very encouraged by Yen Ha. Everything we had was at least pretty good. They have a gigantic menu and I don't know Vietnamese dishes well enough (other than the basics) to pick and choose according to my palate. The value was fantastic, too.

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