6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.
Canal St. to Houston St., East River Dr. to West Side Hwy.
This venue is closed.
Lots of Chinatown's consistently drab-looking Vietnamese places turn out grub that’s equally blah. But this subterranean restaurant, tucked away on tiny, calm Doyers Street, is a fortunate exception. Its 1980s wallpaper and wood paneling and its obscure location may give the place the feeling of a washed-out speakeasy, but there’s plenty of edible temptation within reach. Start with various grilled meats served over tasty noodles for next to nothing. But why stop there? Why not try a salad of chewy pork, plump shrimp, and crunchy jellyfish pepped up with pickled carrots and plenty of fresh mint? And why on earth resist the caramel pork, with its full-bodied, intensely sweet-salty sauce, even if eating it takes you well beyond satiated and dangerously close to stuffed? Before you’re done, your table will be covered with treats — grilled sugarcane wrapped in shrimp paste, or irresistibly piggy broth stocked with fishcakes and tender squid — and you're left to wonder why all Vietnamese restaurants aren't more like this one, while you valiantly try to digest.Recommended Dishes
Caramel pork with black pepper, $7.25; assorted seafood, meat, and rice stick soup, $4.95; grilled pork on thin rice noodle, $7.50