Pho Green Papaya and Sunset Factory Teriyaki & Deli
Now, you might be familiar with them already. Up until recently, they were simply Sunset Deli, a shack-like building on MLK across from Sheridan's, and next to Taco Del Mar. I admit, it seemed a little too divey for even me.
But with a new paint job, Pho Green Payaya looks almost respectable. A covered deck on the side would be nice in warm weather, and it would be removed from the hustle and bustle of the tiny, newly painted interior.
The original Sunset Deli menu (teriyaki, salads, sandwiches) is still in place, and for vietnamese lunch, you've got some limited, not terribly cheap, options. We started with vietnamese iced coffee and their salad rolls, which they call fresh spring roll: filled with bbq pork (xa xiu), shrimp, vermicelli noodles, & mint. The presentation on these was gorgeous, and they really were the highlight of the meal. Though definitely not the best salad roll in town.
Next came our entrees, beef pho and lemongrass chicken. Like I said, the viet menu is short: 3 pho variants (beef, chicken or vegetarian, with no choices for meat), udon (huh?), curry, fried rice, papaya or mango salad, and lemongrass chicken or tofu. The presentation on these were also really lovely. And for a $6 small bowl of pho, it ought to be lovely.
The pho was disappointing. It came with a very small salad plate (though the broth was studded with lots of herbs), and the meat and rice noodles clumped to themselves. By the time the pho got to the table, the meat was an unidentifiable grey mass. And the broth was salty and thin, not rich and robust.
And the lemongrass chicken was also underwhelming. The sauce was tasty with that nice lemongrass citrusyness and slightly spicy, but the chicken itself tasted plain. The green beans were nice and crisp though. It seemed overpriced.
So, beautiful presentation, a little expensive for what it is, and okay but not memorable food.
Posted at October 24, 2006 * add entry to del.icio.us