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Vietnamese, if You Please

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


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mitchtobias.com

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.

Élevé
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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