Chic Vietnamese cuisine
The no-frills image of South Philly's growing Vietnamese corridor along Washington Avenue has gotten a sleek update at Le Viet, a stylish two-month-old newcomer on 11th Street wrapped in contemporary glass and stone walls. The cuisine is rooted in traditional flavors, with a northern accent from owner Bruce Cao's village, Domb Bang. But it's also cast in modern presentations, from the flavorful minced clams and herbs served in an edible bowl of deep-fried rice cracker (hen xuc banh da) to this catchy twist on the familiar spring roll (cha gio re) that wraps a stuffing of ground pork and prawns inside a pan-fried cocoon of batter threads so crisp, it shatters.
- Craig LaBan
Cha gio re, $4.95, Le Viet, 1019 S. 11th St., 215-463-1570; www.levietrestaurant.com.