New Orleans has a large Vietnamese community. As a result we are blessed with many Vietnamese restaurants. They ranger from very traditional places like Dong Phuong, Ba Mein New Orleans East, and Kim Son on the West Bank, to the fusion of Vietnamese and New Orleans cuisine at MoPho. Here are some of the best ones of those we have tried. Unfortunately Pho Tau Bay on the West Bank is closed for the moment. We look forward to its reopening near the new medical complex on Tulane Ave. These are ordered from traditional to fusion.
Ba Mein is one of the traditional places in New Orleans East is an area with many other Vietnamese stores. We had Shrimp and park paste egg roll, fired onion steamed buns, grilled shrimp and pork paste with vermicelli, wraping dish, sauteed calamari. Ba Mein as located in New Orleans East at 13235 Chef Menteur 504-255-0500.
Dong Phuong is also in New Orleans East. It is both a bakery and a restaurant. It supplies most of the Vietnamese bread served in Banh Mi sandwiches around the city. We had egg rolls, Vietnamese crepe, and the mandarin duck rice plate. We also took home some of their great bakery goods. Dong Phuong is located at 14207 Chef Menteur Hwy, (504) 254-0296.
Kim Son is a West Bank favorite. The first time we had Imperial rolls, spring rolls, charcoal broiled shrimp and grilled fish with lettuce leafs and rice paper, salt baked scallops, ginger and onion mussels, hot and spicy bean curd. The second time we had shrimp toast, BBQ ribs, Imperial roll, grilled fish with wrappers and greens. Kim Son is located at 349 Whitney Ave, Gretna.
Ba Chi Canteen won New Orleans Magazine best Vietnamese in 2013 the year it opened. We have been several times. On the first time we had their spring egg rolls, fries with kim chi, steamed buns: spicy catfish, coconut curry shrimp, vermillicelli with car grilled pork and shrimp. The second time we had their crispy pork spring egg rolls, Miso ribs with kim chi and steamed buns, seafood hot pot: fish, scallops, shrimp, clams, mussels, Ba Chi Canteen is located near us at 7900 Maple St in the same block where I lived in the 1950s.
Namese describes itself as “Bridging The Gap Between The Markets of Vietnam & The Streets of New Orleans. Namese is located at 4077 Tulane Ave, (504) 483-8899. Traditional Vietnamese eggrolls with lettuce wrap; Spring rolls with house cured bacon & gulf shrimp Fried calamari, wasabi cream and Sriracha Aiòli; lamp chops with salad.
MoPho describes itself as Southeast Asia by way of New Orleans. It won restaurant of the year by New Orleans Magazine 2014 and I would agree. We have been several times. This firs time we had their Home Fries with Kaffir lime aioli; Sweet Corn Hushpuppies with spicy shrimp butter; Pepper Jelly Braised Cedar Key Clams, with lamb lardo, mint, crispy shallot and annatto beignets; Wood Roasted Duck Leg, Duck liver barley risotto, satsuma glaze, black cardamon, red cabbage, fennel salad.
The second time at MoPho we had Crispy Crispy Chicken Wings in lemongrass and ginger; Fried Gulf Shrimp or Griddled Pork Spring Roll, fermented pepper, peanut; The Mopho Som Tam Salad - sweet cured sausage, spiced peanut, thai peppers, cilantro; Pan Roasted Sheepshead, Cushaw squash puree, satsuma, black cardamom and mizuna; Bone-In Beef Ribs in Panang Curry, Pickeled mirliton, smoked onion over noodles.
The third time at Mopho we had their Som Tam Salad which includes what's in season from their farms along with sweet cured sausage, spiced peanut, thai peppers, cilantro; Pepper Jelly Braised Cedar Key Clams with lamb lardo, mint, crispy shallot and annatto beignets; Wood Roasted Duck Leg with Duck liver barley risotto, satsuma glaze, black cardamon, red cabbage, fennel salad; apple beignets with chantilly cream. Mopho is located at 514 City Park Avenue 504.482.6845.