Viet's owner Hiep Thai comes from a restaurant family — and it shows in the quality of each dish on the extensive menu, ranging from simple rice or noodle combos with grilled beef or chicken to elaborate hot pots brimming with all manner of meat, fish and fowl. If you're not sure where to start, go with Viet's house appetizer platter mounded with softshell crab, pork, shrimp, egg rolls and shrimp paste, all served with rice paper to build your own rolls with. If you're feeling more adventurous, order a bubbling pot of lao de (goat hot pot) with funky chao (fermented-soybean sauce) and a garden's worth of taro root, turnip greens, garlic chives and other greens served with springy wheat noodles. Salads are also of note, whether loaded with plump shrimp, savory duck or shredded pork; the pungent dressings that balance fish sauce with sweet and tangy notes liven up an unusual variety of tropical vegetables, from banana blossom to bitter on choy.
Readers' choice: New Saigon