Had a very good dinner at Mai's, a Vietnamese restaurant on Bryan (across from Jimmy's Italian grocery store), Saturday night. I wouldn't go to Mai's for the decor, but they have upgraded the furniture and painted the place since the last time I was there a year ago.
We started with rocket shrimp (delicious, crispy battered shrimp served with lettuce, cilantro and spicy fish sauce) and two egg rolls, then moved on to spicy beef soup (like pho but with added piquancy), and a "special" clay pot coconut curry with chicken, shrimp and tofu. The six-pack of Red Stripe we bought at Jimmy's was a perfect compliment to the hot flavors.
Perhaps best of all, dinner for two with tip cost a grand total of $27 ($33.50 if you include the beer!)
The neighborhood is touch and go, but it seems a little less daunting now that a new Vietnamese billiard hall has opened next to Mai's. And yes, I do realize how ironic that last statement may seem...