Kau Ba Saigon Kitchen & Bar
The simple design—a black-and-white tile floor with dark wooden furniture—provides the perfect setting for chef Nicki Tran’s anything-but-simple Vietnamese/French/Cajun food. Each plated dish is worthy of a magazine cover. The Viejun Pho epitomizes Tran’s vision: shrimp, clams, and mussels in a sweet vinegar broth topped with a fried soft-shell crab soaking it all in. We had the shrimp-and-pork dumplings to start, meaty things with a subtle soy sesame dressing, then the Golden Tofu, crunchy on the outside, silky and custard-like within, topped with chives and resting on basil leaves. The meat was dry in the Beef Lemongrass Skewers but saved by moist rice noodles, mint, pickles, and fermented bean sauce. Our dessert was the Cajun Craze, a wild mix of tropical fruit, coconut flakes, condensed milk, and spiced Cajun salt.