I'm finally getting around to reviewing some of my new finds (yesterday was Rocco's Pizzeria). Today it's time for Unicorn - a Vietnamese place with California sensibilities in Berkeley (the website also credits Chao Zhou cuisine from southern China).
This is a good place for those who like Le Cheval. I know there are people on this board who aren't Le Cheval fans, but for those who are several dishes from Le Cheval are prepared in virtually the same way. This is a good option to avoid the wait, noise, and parking headaches of Le Cheval. I believe I read somewhere that a former chef from Le Cheval cooks at Unicorn, though I could be wrong.
As for the food, most non-seafood dinner entrees are around $9. The crispy Imperial rolls (filled with chicken, jicama, taro, and chopped onion fried in lumpia wrappers) are very tasty. My favorite entree is the steamed vermicelli platter with chicken. Rice paper is served alongside so that you make your own fresh spring rolls.
I also recommend the Singaporean vermicelli with beef, the lemongrass chicken, and the orange flavored zest with chicken - all are identical to Le Cheval's preparations. In addition, the Malaysian curry (not found at Le Cheval) was yummy, with chicken so tender it fell off the bone.
Service is very profession, and the atmosphere here is very refined with light apricot walls and candles. The prettiest place in the restaurant can only be viewed if you go to the bathroom! There's a planter box filled with lovely river stones and orchids.
There is a coupon at the website for a free appetizer should you decide to go.
2533 Telegraph Ave. (near Blake)