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Vietnam Bay

The pristine white facade and nautical blue logo of Vietnam Bay, an unassuming joint on South Federal, don't begin to hint at the collision of cuisines within. Like its predecessor Red Claw, Vietnam Bay specializes in Cajun-tinged seafood platters, odd mash-ups of Louisiana flavors with Vietnamese ingredients, and straight-up drinking food accented with delta spirit (whether from the Mississippi or the Mekong) and spice levels dialed up to meet cold beer head-on. Po’ boy sandwiches and market-priced crawfish by the pound show obvious Gulf Coast origins, but curried frog legs and savory rice porridges called chao rank among the rarer Vietnamese specialties that we’ve found in Federal’s soup and noodle houses. We also can't resist the fish-sauce glazed wings and the gumbo-dumpling hybrid called "gumlings" -- dishes fused together with nothing but the kitchen’s bravado and knack for reinvented comfort food.