UPPER EAST SIDE, NYC |
The city of New York—and Yorkville as a prime culprit—has become egregiously more overrun by pan-Asian shops. You know these spaces, the ones that have over-complicated menus serving a variety of cuisines from a wide variety of Eastern countries. The ones that offer Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, even Indian all on the same side of the page.
Not surprisingly, the problem with places like these is that, with no concentration on one type of food, all the dishes kind of suffer. How I hate realizing that a restaurant is using the same noodles for both their ramen and lo mein, and using strips of fried wonton skins for crispy soup noodles.
So it was by fortuitous accident that I discovered Vietnaam a few weeks ago, and have made it an immediate new staple for my neighborhood lunch and dinner options. First turned on by their excellent canh chua (sweet and sour soup), I was immediately impressed with the classicist authenticity of the traditional Vietnamese menu, and with the delicious respect with which the menu's dishes are executed.
The proof rerealized during a recent lunch of lollipop" sugar cane shrimp (shrimp paste deep-fried on a sugar cane stalk) and a bánh mì sandwich featuring braised duck. Vietnaam keeps their dishes simple, pure, and clean, making for tasty meals that speak most honestly—and simply—to its cultural provenance.
Which means when I want true and truly tasty Vietnamese food—and nothing else—Vietnaam makes my decision-making very very easy.
Bun Apple Tea!