Pho & I:
The ladies and I needed quick sustenance pre-Symphony last week and agreed on Pho & I on Huntington. We split gyoza to start - a firm and thick wrapper around generic porky insides with a too-sweet dipping sauce. Friend had some sort of chicken/cashew/vegetable stirfry that was fine, I had the caramelized catfish that was a bit sweet, but well cooked, and buonastella had pho that had an incredibly tasty broth. An Americanized approach to Vietnamese and Thai, and while I usually stay away from restaurants that *specialize* in both, it's nice to remember there's edible food other than Brasserie Jo near BSO.
Pho Yuen Dong Vietnamese:
This is the Vietnamese restaurant in the same strip mall as Kam Man. DC and I shared roasted quail to start, which looked like they had been sitting in their marinade for too long. They weren't quite as crisp as Anh Hong's, but the pickled vegetables that came with them were lovely. We also ordered the Banh Xeo (pancake), with pork, vegetables, and filled with yellow onions and bean sprouts. I though this was the standout of the night with the crispy crust of the pancake playing well with the softness of the cooked meats and vegetables. The dipping sauce was also pretty great. To round things out, an order of ca kho to (catfish in claypot). The liquid caramel, fish sauce, and ground black pepper sauce was the best I've had, and I especially loved the caramelized onions in place of the green onions I often see in this dish.
Finally got around to tasting the bahn mi here - pork for me and chicken for my DC. The pork had an excellent flavor, was nice and soft instead of stringy, but stood up well to the various vegetables. Mei Sum has some stiff competition in this sandwich, though Pho Viet's roll may be a bit large for me. I'm not complaining though and I finished every single bite.
Ate at Gargoyles for RW last week and am pleased to announce they're extending RW to include Saturday, March 22, for those of you who want to dine on a weekend. Other than being a bit rushed, I thought the raclette and steak frites were knockouts. The Saint Andre cheese on the hanger steak melted into the green peppercorn jus perfectly. The truffle soup was far too sweet for me (a combination of veal stock & cream as the base, topped with avocado cream, bee pollen and pulled pork) and the mascarpone tart rather tasteless, though the caramel sauce on that plate was good enough to lick, but my DC liked both of them, I think. Cinnamon chocolate cake was fine as was the ice cream on top, but I wouldn't rush back for it.