Thanks to a tip from Walter Nicholls in The Washington Post, a few of us got together at this Eden Center newcomer for a taste of North Vietnamese cuisine. Ly Ly is tucked away in one of the interior courtyards, just to the left of the Eden Supermarket, and is instantly one of the nicest places to dine in Eden Center. We were all impressed on how beutifully and elegantly presented the food was.
There's no doubt I'd rush back for the sweet potato and shrimp cakes as well as the intensely flavored clams on the half shell - definitely a dish to share as the flavor was so rich (like an intense pot likker) with teeny-tiny diced pork rind, flecked with greens. Lotus root salad was served in a generous heap with sliced shrimp and some diced pork. This was also a great dish to share - I found their version to be more like a hearty meal than a dainty appetizer.
The star of the lunch, though, was the grilled rockfish served with sheer rice crepes to make your own wraps. Even stuffed with noodles and herbs and a potent onion sauce, the grilled fish flavor shone through these do-it-youself spring rolls.
Despite the fact they promised the beef on the menu was done in a different style than many South Vietnamese places, I didn't notice a difference with our order of filret mignon. Well done, but nothing unique. Stuffed squid were densely packed bullets, really too chewy to be delightful, the filling typical of what you would find in a traditional fried spring roll. Nice sauce.
And then there was the plate of pig's liver, small intestine, and sausage. Served cold and unadorned. With a gray dipping sauce of intestine water. The perfect complement to a banquet of stinky tofu, with a tall glass of Jamaican Mauby to wash it all down with.