Vietnamese makes for good summer food. One favorite is bun cha. In the US, it’s cool, springy rice vermicelli, with grilled meat and herbs on top and veggies on the side. The traditional version you’ll find in Vietnam serves the charred meat on the side, in a bowl with warm, tangy broth.
You can get the standard US meat-on-top version at Loi’s. “I love Loi’s with a burning passion,” says pane. Their bun cha is excellent–the char on the meat is unbelievable, and the meat itself is quite fresh. If you get there early enough, you may see the owner walking through the restaurant with live chickens.
Hung Ky’s bun cha rocks, says chaddict. It’s the traditional Vietnamese style, with the meat in a separate bowl in lovely broth.
Bodega Bistro makes lovely bun cha with grilled pork and pork sausage pieces in the tangy broth, says david kaplan. Noodles, picked carrots & daikon, and a pile of herbs come on the side, along with lettuce leaves for wrapping. It’s delectable, agrees fino wino. The slightly fatty pork is so tender and the broth is so good, he’d sup it like soup.
Binh Minh Quan also serves the traditional bun cha. And Saigon has a decent version.
Loi’s Vietnamese Restaurant [Sunset]
2228 Irving St., San Francisco
Hung Ky Restaurant [Tenderloin]
337 Jones St., San Francisco
Bodega Bistro [Tenderloin]
607 Larkin St., San Francisco
Binh Minh Quan Restaurant [Chinatown]
338 12th St., Oakland
Saigon City Restaurant [Peninsula]
418 E 3rd Ave., San Mateo
Board Links: Authentic Bun Cha in bay area?