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Posted by anonymous on 01/07/2009
After hearing the raves of my buddy about this place, I broke down and decided to see what all the fuss was about. My friend knew that I served two tours in Vietnam, which included occasional forays/tdy's into neighboring Thailand, so I was fairly well acquainted with Southeast Asian food. Well....here's the verdict. This Saigon Grill along with every single other purported Vietnamese/Thai restaurant in the USA is a fraud. It HAS to be this way. Most true Southeast Asian cuisine could NOT be served to the American palate. Most....no the overwhelming majority of Americans would become nauseous by genuine SEA cuisine. The flavors would be revolting to their taste buds. I kid you not by telling you that true SEA food would challenge the sensibilities of the most adventurous Western tongue. I'll leave it to your imagination what I am only hinting at. Now....that aside, I have found these Americano-SEA restaurants incorporating copious amount of peanut sauces, coconut meat, scallions and cilantro in their plates, if only to distinguish themselves from Chinese fare. In the several dozens of authentic SEA restaurants I have dined in, I have NEVER, EVER had peanut and coconut embellishments. Period. Scallions and Cilantro yes. Anyway, the upshot of my experience at the Saigon Grill is that it is just like every other American-SEA restaurant. A bland version of Chinese desperately seeking an identity. BTW, SEA cuisine is SO piquant that it puts to shame the hottest Mexican, Indian and Cajun dishes. They incorporate these little red peppers that make Habaneras seem like milk duds.
Posted by Do NOT Boycott Saigon Grill on 12/23/2008
So, after the employees and delivery people won their settlement. I still see them protesting at the Saigon Grill downtown. Not happy with the settlement? GET ANOTHER JOB! Seriously good food, lunch menu is awesome, pork chops are great!
Posted by C on 12/07/2008
I agree with Lianne. I hate what the owners are doing to the delivery people (if true) but I cannot stay away. The lunch specials are a great deal. The La Sa Tom soup is TO DIE FOR! Seriously it is that good. The Curry Bo is fantastic as is all their noodle dishes. The Ga Nuong Xa Platter (lemon grass chicken with great sticky rice) is also very, very good. I truly wish the owners would get their acts together and solve the delivery/ payment issues so delivery can restart. My only con is that they always want to rush me out of there. I just ignore the waiters when they do that.
Posted by aBigFan on 12/05/2008
even though the restaurant has some difficulties i would still recommended this place to my friends and every1...i love the food here - its the best place to b eating in
Posted by Lianne on 12/05/2008
I feel awful continuing to eat here, but with all the articles out there, it's clear that the owners will get theirs, and the workers WILL hopefully get the $$ they deserve. In the meantime, I have NEVER had a bad meal here. Ever. The lunch prices are unbeatable and the flavors are amazing. I adore this place. I love the food. I do not adore the myriad employment laws that have been violated.
Posted by Anonymous on 11/22/2008
The food is great, and the delivery is fast. We like the crystal dumplings, the string beans in garlic sauce, the bo luc lac, and the pan fried noodles, especially, but everything is good. One note: Even though I'm writing this weeks after the judgment against Saigon Grill for $4.5 million dollars, which we TRULY hope they survive, the delivery guy still asked for a bigger tip than we gave him. That's so not cool.
Posted by Sheila on 11/10/2008
I am Vietnamese and tend to be a harsh critic of Vietnamese cuisine. Contrary to what earlier reviews suggested, I LOVE THIS PLACE. I've searched high and low, and the only other place that I found to be better is in Chinatown called "Thai Son". Located on the upper west side, parking is MUCH EASIER than in Chinatown. I recommend the Grilled Pork Chops with Coconut Sticky Rice and Whole Sea Bass (although, be prepared, it comes with eyes intact so the squeamish need not get this- but it's the best succulent, fried fish ever!) I always order "Chicken Summer Rolls" and "Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls" as appetizers. Not to mention the $3.75 Pho Bo soup as a starter... The staff is all about quick service, so feel free to call out to any of the 10 waiting the tables... It's a great casual place, in a great neighborhood with ridiculously affordable prices. Downside- metered parking- so you may have to run out to put in quarters!