Best Vietnamese Restaurant (2002)
Sure, service can be brusque (good luck getting beverage refills). The interior can be, uh, scruffy. And the communication levels vary (one time we ordered hot and sour fish soup, only to have our server wrinkle her nose and exclaim, "Oh, you no like!" She was really wrong). But the food, oh my Buddha.
Everything is superb, like the refreshing chopped spring rolls and grilled pork over rice vermicelli. We love the tabletop grilled dishes, and the chicken curry dunked with French bread. But our real heart belongs to pho, the staple of rice noodle beef broth. A massive bowl arrives hot and steaming, aromatic with herbs and stocked with lots of thin slippery noodles plus our choice of meat (we love the tender brisket and the raw eye of round in paper thin slices that cook in the broth).
Years of constant supervision guarantee this is the best Vietnamese. We always know what we're in pho.