Despite the Gold Coast location, this striking New York clone -- decorated with bamboo shutters, sepia-toned photos of old Vietnam, and rotating fans suspended from 30-foot ceilings -- conjures a vision of French-occupied Saigon. The second-story dining room and lounge (available for private parties of up to 55) has cushy couches and tall windows that open onto a balcony, where there's also seating affording a bird's-eye view of Rush Street. The Vietnamese cuisine hints of French in presentation only -- no heavy sauces, rather plenty of light and tangy flavors from citrus and chiles. A typical dish is the goi bo, a spicy marinated beef salad with lemongrass and Thai basil: it holds its own as a classic but doesnt stretch any culinary boundaries. The prices reflect the lavish decor and high-rent location. But for newcomers to Vietnamese cuisine this is a good place to experiment, and the sidewalk patio seating is always a treat.
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