I live in Miami and when I heard about this restaurant, I drove the 5 hours to Tampa to see what all the hype was about. It was worth every service plaza, toll fare, and then some! One reviewer called it one of the hippest, most innovative Vietnamese restaurants in the United States. Chef Trina Nguyen-Batley is a genius, creating a chic, sophisticated, stylish oasis of French Vietnamese fare that's as gorgeous as it is delicious. An appetizer of roast sea eel with ponzu sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds on chilled cucumber salad prepares the palate for an outstanding onslaught of flavors and textures to come. Baby lamb spareribs braised in star anise, garlic, rice wine, and tamarind are equally spectacular, but if you like spicy, and I do, the spicy prawns in chili, ginger, and garlic sauce over steamed rice is the way to go. Come to think of it, you can't go wrong with anything here. It's authentic, awe-inspiring, and, yes, even worth a 5-hour drive, more so than Bern's, actually.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Very Highly Recommended 2010