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Vietnamese, if You Please

Pho-mania! A new influx of Vietnamese restaurants in Walnut Creek gives diners plenty of choices.



Since 2007, Le Cheval, Huynh, and Da Lat have been the Vietnamese restaurants in Walnut Creek. Now they’ve got some competition. A lot of competition. Three new Vietnamese restaurants have opened since December, with a fourth, Kevin’s Noodle House, on the way. Each newbie offers its own unique flavors. Here’s what to look for.

Vanessa’s Bistro 2
1329 N. Main St., vanessasbistro2.com

When you’re in the mood for: A taste extravaganza. Sample the various small plates, and maximize the Vietnamese-French-California fusion.
Atmosphere: Hip and lively tapas bar. Red and gold walls flank a row of tables with soft leather chairs and a long bar. The lounge has sports on TV.
What to order: Salt-and-pepper fried prawns, maple leaf duck confit lettuce wrap, tuna and salmon poke with avocado and mango, shaking filet mignon salad.
To-die-for dessert: Banana peach bread pudding with vanilla ice cream.

1677 N. Main St., eleverestaurant.com

When you’re in the mood for: Creative artisanal cocktails and upscale Vietnamese food.
Atmosphere: Sleek and elegant. Calming browns with splashes of color and a glass facade inviting views of downtown.
What to order: Beef carpaccio, vegetarian spring rolls with jicama, classic bánh mi sandwiches, and delicious Vietnamese iced coffee.
To-die-for dessert: Crème brûlée with mini madeleines.

Pho Saigon
1560 Newell Ave.

When you’re in the mood for: Comfort food. Huge bowls of soup are warming in every way.
Atmosphere: Denny’s diner turned Vietnamese noodle shop. Flat-screen TVs and vinyl booths keep it casual and comfy.
What to order: Pho. Vermicelli and rice dishes are available, but the reason to be here is the fragrant beef broth with your choice of flank, brisket, tendon, or tripe. Vegetarians steer clear.
To-die-for dessert: Walk to Broadway Plaza for Dairy Queen. 

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