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On Wednesday I grabbed a late lunch at Saigon House in San Leandro. It's a spic-and-span Viet-Chinese noodle house that seems to have changed hands in the last year or so, indicated by the congratulatory foliage.
Spotting Mi Quang, $9.95, the noodle specialty from Central Vietnam, on the menu, my ordering decision was easy. This bowl was soupier than usual with a larger proportion of slightly sweet, intensely porcine broth. The turmeric-stained bright yellow thick rice noodles were firm and silky in texture. A few shrimp, seasoned ground pork nubs, fried shallots, garlic, peanuts, slivers of white onion and scallions topped the noodles. The sesame rice cracker was fresh and crisp. I added in the mint, basil, cilantro, shredded cabbage, bean sprouts and sliced jalapeño from the herb plate and a squeeze of lime to counter the sweetness. While not the textbook version, this was still satisfying.
The warmth of service here is quite notable. I was greeted in a very friendly manner and the owner checked with me a couple times. I noticed him working the room stopping to chat with his regular customers. I would certainly return when I'm in the neighborhood.
15001 Farnsworth St
San Leandro, CA
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