100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Rice Paper
The Eden Center—a.k.a. Little Vietnam—is such a cornucopia of gastronomic treasures that first-timers trying to figure out where to eat can be daunted.
Newbies should commence their explorations at this modish dining room with polished wood floors and dangling lamps, where the 120-plus-item menu is an encyclopedia of Vietnamese cooking. The menu also rewards the food adventurer with beguiling twists on the familiar (lemongrass short ribs, thrice-baked chicken) and dishes that don’t stint on their commitment to authenticity. The staff is uneven—sometimes attentive, sometimes fumbling. Don’t miss: Spring rolls; bun thit nuong, a noodle bowl with grilled pork and shrimp; congee (porridge); shaky beef; bánh xèo, a rice-flour crepe with pork, bean sprouts, and shrimp; grilled, stuffed grape leaves; chicken salad with cabbage, gizzards, and liver; snails in coconut sauce; fried tofu with lemongrass.
Open: Daily for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.