Bunker

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83 Very Good

Some of the city’s best pho is served at this Brooklyn staple.

99 Scott Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11237

718-386-4282

http://bunkernyc.com/

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The lowdown

Bunker made quite the stir in Vietnamese food–deprived New York when it opened on a lonely, industrial stretch in Maspeth, Queens. The obscure location didn’t hurt, but it was the quirky ambiance and chef Jimmy Tu’s cooking that originally won it a devoted following and turned it into a food cognoscenti destination. Think the crêpe called bánh xèo made with bacon, and inventive creations like mushroom and catfish bánh mì. But the small space limited the kitchen and its isolated address left often-overflowing crowds with nowhere to go — a problem during winter. The owners cut their loses and packed up, relocating to a significantly larger space that, while still on an industrial street, shares space with a very Brooklyn mead bar and is a much shorter walk from the subway stop. Here there are 70 or so seats, but the space still retains the original’s picnic feel with a colorful beachy design, high ceilings, and mismatched chairs and tables. There’s a bar that’s big enough to comfortably eat at, and some nights you might slurp pho to a DJ or a rock band playing early. Most important, there’s an expanded menu with dishes like bun cha — vermicelli and pork sausage and belly in fish sauce, greens and herbs for wrapping — and particularly good grilled lemongrass short rib bánh mì.

Chris Crowley

What you need to know

DrinksFull Bar