The Scoop: It’s a family affair at Little Vietnam. The Huynh Family, whose older members are orig...The Scoop: It’s a family affair at Little Vietnam. The Huynh Family, whose older members are originally from Ho Chi Minh, command the front and back of Little Vietnam Café, where they use their grandmother’s tried and true recipes to create dishes that highlight Vietnam from the northern Hanoi region to the southern Saigon region. Just like their grandmother used to do, everything is home made using fresh, basic ingredients, and of course a little love.
I can’t hear the word Vietnam without automatically thinking about Robin Willams yelling “Gooooood morning, Vietnam!” into his radio microphone. Since I’m used to all the action going down on Clement, it took me a few minutes to realize the restaurant is on 6th and not Clement, but once I spot the red awning and smiley-faced patrons chowing down on sandwiches and soup out front, I know I’m in the right spot. After five years of growing solely by word of mouth and a few very favorable articles that have people all the way from San Jose clamoring to get their hands on these sandwiches, Little Vietnam Café is updating itself, starting with a new, more focused menu, that can basically be broken down into four categories: sandwiches, soups, rice plates and noodles and vermicelli bowls. The Vietnamese coffee should probably have its very own category for how amazing it is, but simplicity is the theme here at Little Vietnam, so we’ll just leave it at that.
I finally settle on the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup from the Hue region of Vietnam, a side of the Green Papaya Salad and a Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Now I’m a baby when it comes to spicy, but the spice in this soup is an even warmth, instead of a double punch to the taste buds like some other spicy dishes I’ve had. The papaya salad, with its shredded papaya, basil, coriander, carrots, shallots, fried onions and peanuts with a fish sauce vinaigrette is a cool, refreshing taste that balances out the heat from the noodle soup. Little Vietnam will soon introduce weekly specials, showcasing different regions within Vietnam. Seeing as how I could easily eat here at least once a week, sounds like a good idea to me.
Vietnamese Coffee, $3
Grilled Five Spice Chicken Sandwich, $4.15
Green Papaya Salad, $7.30
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, $7.30
Marinated Tofu Vermicelli Bowl, $7.30
Daily, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.