“Northern Vietnam has produced a number of the country’s most iconic dishes, including pho, which is nearing total assimilation into the American appetite. Vien Dong is no less canonical. The restaurant has for decades been a Little Saigon staple, gleaming and spacious with musical instruments fastened to the walls and a fish tank casting a cool blue glow toward the door.
Start with cha gio, egg rolls fried until their rice-paper skins blister with beautiful little bubbles. Then go to work on the bun cha ha noi, a deconstructed noodle bowl assembled at the table. Wriggle free a few noodles, prune the herbs—cilantro, perilla and the like—and top it all with charred pork submerged in sweetened fish sauce. Bun rieu is a noodle soup of the sea, a mildly sour tomato-based broth swimming with crab, shrimp and, optionally, periwinkle snails.”
Find the rest here.