At Brooklyn’s Falansai, Modern Vietnamese with a Slanted Door Connection

Falansai Brooklyn

Falansai brings something unexpected and welcome to a barren corner of Bushwick: a refined take on Vietnamese street food from a one-time cook at San Francisco's celebrated Slanted Door.

Shrimp with crisp okra (pictured) is a standout dish, distinguished by an inviting play of textures and the delicately balanced flavors of Sichuan peppercorn, peanuts, galangal, and dried shrimp, mary shaposhnik reports on Chowhound. Vegetarian imperial rolls are also outstanding, fried to a greaseless crunch. "Everything was complex and delicious," says HungryWino, who recommends sautéed eggplant with lemongrass and curry; pork belly and eggs braised in soy, ginger, and coconut; and shrimp-shiitake rolls in the style of Chaozhou, China, where owner Henry Trieu's father came from.

Although plenty of Bay Area 'hounds soured on the Slanted Door long ago, Charles Phan's restaurant came to define upscale Vietnamese cooking for many in California and beyond, and it remains a point of comparison for New Yorkers who visit Falansai. "The Slanted Door references will probably lead to all sorts of wrong impressions and expectations, but I have to say it did feel similar to what I remember from when Slanted Door opened—an elegant approach to cooking with very good technique," writes mary shaposhnik, a former San Franciscan (and, we should disclose, a neighbor of Trieu's). "A little magic happening over here," HungryWino adds. "I suggest capturing some."

Not everyone is feeling the magic. Peter Cuce says his pho was marred by a broth lacking in dimension, and the banh mi, though filled with tasty, jerky-like pork, was bready and underseasoned (the house-made lemonade, however, was refreshing and just barely sweet). "While everything was good enough," he adds, "it wasn't good enough for me to return unless I hear that it's improved."

Falansai [Bushwick]
112 Harrison Place (at Porter Avenue), Brooklyn
347-599-1190

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Photo from Falansai / Facebook