Friday, February 20, 2009

Xanh: A Vietnamese Lounge/Restaurant

Kathy felt like Xanh, and we are big fans of Vietnamese, so we headed there the other night for dinner. As are most of the places I've written about, it's in downtown Mountain View, and it was a nice night (clear in the upper 40s) so we took a walk down there to try it out. It was a Thursday night at 7pm, and there was a thirty minute wait to seat the three of us.

The lounge area was pretty fantastic, but it was packed so we weren't able to sit and enjoy appetizers/drinks. We walked around downtown instead, but I did snag a few pictures of the room. There were comfy-looking couches and low lighting. The silver decorative hanging balls were fun to look at, and the entire side wall was smooth stones with water pouring down them. (the photos on the website are quite a bit better than the ones I took, so if you're interested, just click on the link at the beginning of this post)

Instead of giving us a pager, they actually phoned Jonathan to let him know that our table was ready. We were seated in a side room that was bordered with exciting paintings and ball-bearing curtains. There were clear glass panels and a wall of shelving with fancy lighting on bottles.

The three of us shared dishes, which was easy to do since there were appetizer plates on the table when we sat down. We ordered the Traditional Roll to start with, which was a spring roll filled with poached pork and shrimp, rice noodles, green apple, cilantro, mint, cucumber, and shallots. There was no soy sauce provided, but Kathy and JB both enjoyed the peanut sauce with the roll. Then we had the Ahi Tuna Tartare, which was served as a cerviche/guacamole dip with wonton chips. It was made from ahi tuna, cucumber, avocado, mango, green apple, scallions, and some kind of herbs. It was mixed in front of us, and set in a vase of dry ice (see the photo!). I loved the concept, but the rush of flavors was a bit strange, and the cucumber was not chopped finely enough. We want to give it a try at home, but we'll probably alter the dish a little, espcially since our Magic Bullet is sitting at the house in Melbourne. Then we got a dish of glass noodles with dungeness crab that included scallions and fried shallots as well. I didn't try any, as the crab was shredded and I couldn't eat around it. Both of the others enjoyed it, and Kathy mentioned it is one of her favorite dishes at the place. Finally, we had the Peppercorn Beef, which was filet minion over potatoes, asparagas, and bell peppers, all in a decently-flavorful peppercorn sauce. The beef itself was quite good, although the potatoes were horribly unflavored... they could have used a spice rub in addition to the sauce. It was the priciest dish, but then again it was filet minion.

We did not have dessert or anything, but I did want to mention the glasses. They are really neat, and the ones for soft drinks are even cooler than the water glasses. The blue cup is a candle.

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