Thit Bo. Damn. I wanted to go into the alley out back to see if there was a Vietnamese lady squatting over a piece of charcoal with a grill basket in one hand and a fan keeping the coals hot in the other. These people are doing it right. The nuoc nam sauce was wonderfully fishy, citrusy, and spicy. You are supposed to just dip into it but I finished it off with a spoon.
BeerLao for $4. Yes, in Laos it is $.60, but you are not in Laos.
As soon as I opened the door, I knew this was going to be good. It just smelled right. It smelled like Asia.
Even though they do not focus on one cuisine (which certainly made me skeptical), they are taking great pains to make everything as authentic as possible. We have been three times and everything has been wonderful including Ramen, Bun Thit Nuong and the gorgeously sweet and spicy duck Geng Bped. While I can’t vouch for the authenticity of everything I have had there, the absolute authenticity of the dishes that I am VERY familiar with in their countries of origin gives me confidence in the ones that I unfortunately missed in my extensive Asian travels.
Until someone else starts making Asian food this authentic around here, you can charge me anything the hell you want.
Som Tam papaya salad is my favorite dish from any cuisine in the world and I have enjoyed it many times both in Thailand and Laos. Theirs is spot on. Everything you need to know about this restaurant comes from the fact that they don’t even ask if you want the dish prepared the way it is supposed to be or if you want it watered down for the American palette. It came nice and spicy without me having to plead and beg and unlike many Asian places around here they are not afraid of fish sauce. They serve it the way you would get it in Thailand or Laos without giving you the option of dumbing it down. Please don’t let anyone talk you out of this approach.
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