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San Francisco Bay Area Vietnamese San Jose

San Jose - Korea House and Khanh's (Vietnamese)


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Restaurants & Bars 7

San Jose - Korea House and Khanh's (Vietnamese)

Pincho | Jul 27, 2006 09:05 AM

I'm in the south bay for a 5-week extended stay... have been reading this board for good pointers on how to eat well during my stay, and will try to post feedback here and mentions of any great place I come across which hasn't been recently mentione here...

Experienced a mediocre lunch over the weekend at Khanh's on Winchester, a Vietnamese spot. Went with family, not based on a recommendation from this board. The place has an unremarable pancake-house kind of ambiance. The eggrolls were absolutely fantastic, I could have made a meal of those alone - light, nice balance of meat and vegetable, not too greasy, served with fresh greens. The spring rolls were good but nothing special. Shared a number of other dishes including claypot catfish, vermicelli with grilled shrimp, and a noodle dish with vegetable whose name escapes me. The catfish was somewhat mushy and overly peppery... would rather taste the fish. The grilled shrimp on the vermicelli was very bland, and the salad uninteresting.. was hoping for more herbs and intersting greens. The nuoc cham struck me also as pretty bland. All this said, the Vietnamese families around us seemed to be enjoying their meals more than us, and I have a feeling that the interesting-lloking shared platters they were ordering weren't on the menu. Still, no recommendation for this place, I've had better Vietnamese in Phoenix where I live, so I'm sure one can do FAR better in San Jose (based on posts on this board, I plan to visit Vung Tau while here)

On a brighter note, we had an excellent dinner at Korea House on El Camino Real in Santa Clara. I have not eaten much Korean food and was looking for an opportunity to try some "good" Korean chow. We ordered the Kalbi and Bulgogi barbecue. OK, standard/predictable but from reading reports about the Korean BBQ places on this board I knew this would result in plenty of food with a lot of variety, as a huge number of sides were included. I highly recommend Korea House, service was friendly (if a bit harried/inattentive... very busy waitstaff!). Incredible variety of sides... from very mild to wildly spicy, though the napa cabbage kimchee here was not as hot as I anticipated nor as hot as I've had elsewhere.. my 1-year old daughter tried and loved just about everything on the table, she ate the sweetened bean curd as if it were candy... which I guess it kind of is...

So, a question for hounds who know Korean food... any suggestions on what to order next time to experience Korean food "beyond bulgogi" yet not result in too much food we can't comfortably finish? I detest wasting food hence the narrow order on this visit... the nonstop sides make ordering mutliple things off the menu "to try" seem excesive.

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