Food okay, service sleepy.
Posted on 04 / 09 / 2012
I think Saigon's trying too hard to be hip.
Service was spotty at this trendy-looking Vietnamese/Thai mash-up. We entered the place to find a few hipster servers huddled together in conversation. We stood awkwardly inside the entryway for a minute until one of them finally acknowledged and seated us. This was clearly not a good indication of where things could go.
Excited to find a place that offers vegetarian Vietnamese dishes, we decided to stick with the Vietnamese menu. We started with the Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Summer Rolls); rice paper wrappers were stuffed with shredded lettuce, rice noodles, cilantro, and bits of tofu. These were really bland; their makeup seemed to be 90% gluey rice noodles, 9% lettuce, and 1% unseasoned tofu. I bet the non-vegetarian rolls (made with shrimp and pork) have much more flavor; the veggie version almost seemed like a poorly constructed afterthought. However, the peanut sauce which accompanied them was tasty enough to compensate. I could eat the sauce with a spoon and be very happy.
For our main dish, we went with the Saigon Noodles; these wide, flat rice noodles were refreshingly light, with fried tofu and crisp veggies in a barely-there curry sauce. The predominant flavor was lemongrass, with a hint of garlic and ginger. I've never had a dish quite like this, and I must say we rather enjoyed it.
Once our food came out, it's like we ceased to exist. No one really came to check up on us, and it took a while to have our water glasses refilled. Again, the servers were busy talking amongst themselves. But after some forced eye contact, we were able to score a bit of attention. Check, please!
Not an amazing experience, but the food was good overall and it was nice to have some veggie Vietnamese offerings. A bit of floor management could fix much of what ails this place. I would be willing to give it another shot.
Veggie Vietnamese!, Decent portion size