Until last night, I thought I knew Vietnamese and Thai food. AT first I missed the significance of the fact that no Caucassians were to be found in the crowd on the first floor of this bustling restaraunt at 907 Race Street.
At the banquet upstairs, every dish showed "something special". The presentation stood out, with different vegetables and fruit decorating the heaping platters. The sauces were subtly different on each of the six main courses. The eight at our table had trouble identifying their favorite dish. A few voted for the vegetarian sea food pot. With genuine looking faux shrimp, the crispest celery around, and other trompe-le bouche morsels, this dish was a standout. Me, I fell in love with the spicy, and very different saucing of the lobster dish. Some of the dishes looked innocent, but the peppered filet minon certainly wasn't when it came to packing a spicy flavor punch. The salt baked soft shelled crab also made a hit with all. I found a table with a couple of "allergics" sitting at it, and asked if I could relieve them of the offending item. Yo, was my table pleased when I showed up with that extra plate.
A thought. When you want to host a special occasion for a group, consider Pho Xe Lua. The Chef/Owner Tien could not have been more accomodating. He delivered the real deal for us. It felt like we had traveled to the Far East, and it was not at all like standard banquet fare.