Tue-Sun, noon-4pm and 6pm-11pm; Mon, closed
L at Bedford Ave.
This venue is closed.
In reaction to the diffuse kitchen-sink menus at most Vietnamese restaurants, Nguyen has kept his small and focused. Because pho is so widely available, Nguyen won’t serve it, and he restricts his roster of bánh mì, the increasingly popular Vietnamese sandwich, to the counter-service “street shop” lunch menu (his bread comes from a Polish bakery around the corner). Which isn’t to say that fans of the delicate, fish-sauce-seasoned cuisine won’t find anything familiar to eat. The summer rolls are textbook, with diaphanous wrappers and ultrafresh fillings; Nguyen’s mother was assembling them herself one sunny Sunday afternoon. Most of the other appetizers are fried, with varying results, like the fine (if a tad bland) spring rolls. Most appealing was Nguyen’s own invention, bruschetta-like toasts topped with a smooth, tasty rice-flour-tapioca-starch batter mixed with mung bean and taro, studded with a choice of tiny shrimp or mushrooms, and then placed under the broiler until golden brown. Highly addictive—especially when dipped into Nguyen’s tangy nuoc cham, and a good counterpoint to the other standout appetizer, thin slices of marinated beef served with a fiery dipping sauce.Ideal Meal
Shrimp street toast, beef carpaccio, caramelized black-peppercorn pork chop.