On a thread at the end of 2007, I resolved to resume our Viet lunch series as there had been a significant gap since our last lunch. I made good on my promise. Five hungry hounds gathered yesterday at Thien Long in East San Jose, battling inclement weather and crazy drivers in pursuit of Viet food deliciousness. It was a delicious reunion, indeed.
Thien Long is housed in a sparkling new strip mall just off the 101, north of Silver Creek and Capitol. I'm pretty certain that this is owned by the same people who owned Pho Thien Long (now Pho Phi Long) in Grand Century Mall. This place is larger w/ spacious tables, comfy chairs, and lots of natural light. Doing both lunch and dinner business, they also accept reservations. The other place was known by hounds for their cha ca (turmeric-coated catfish w/ dill and scallions) and lau (seafood hotpot), and they have carried over those items to this menu.
We got one order of each:
Goi du du bo kho: green papaya salad w/ dried beef
Chim nuong: grilled butterflied quail
Pho ap chao don (sp?): fried bricks of pho noodles w/ beef and vegetable stir fry & gravy
Lau (described on their menu as for 2)
Cha ca (also for 2)
This was more than enough food for the five of us and was initially overwhelming since they brought everything out at one time, filling every square inch of our table. Everything looked vibrant and smelled seductive. If sequencing is important to you or if you want to have food come out gradually, then be sure to emphasize this to the floor manager/waiter or order course by course.
Total cost for food, tea, one beverage, and 20% tip was $17pp--an excellent value IMO given amount and quality of food. The lau and cha ca were among the most expensive items on the menu at around $20ea. The bowls of various noodles soups going out to other tables were gargantuan, and I definitely want to return w/ husband to sample their bun rieu oc, pho, and other difficult-to-share items...
This was an auspicious start to the new year and resumption of our lunch series. Thanks to my lunch companions for their company and chow conversation! Stay tuned for more reports this year...I will add more thoughts when my companions have chimed in and I have more time. Below is a link to my photos of the meal.
Thien Long Restaurant
3005 Silver Creek Rd, San Jose, CA 95121