Saturday, January 2

Xanh Restaurant - Mountain View

My NYE 2009 celebration started off with happy hour at Xanh a Vietnamese restaurant in Mountain View. Xanh means green (or also blue). Xanh gets very high ratings on Yelp and I have gotten several in person recommendations for this place so I admit, I was a little hyped up.

The restaurant lays less than a block down the street from where this picture was taken. Such a beautiful downtown street. I like smaller cities with lighted streets in the winter time. It's one of my ideal winter settings.

Standard bar with the drinks and the poshy lighting. Let's start with some basics: happy hour is 4:30-6:30pm M-F, only at the bar or lounge area, $3 drinks, $4 food from the happy hour menu.

Garlic Noodles: so good. so buttery, garlicky good. Big enough portion considering it's only $4. This could fill me up.

Kobe beef spring rolls: so good. crisp and fresh taste with lemony/vinegary dipping sauce good. Side of Widmer Hefwenweizen beer.

Papaya Salad: so good. so fresh and crunchy and vinegary/spicy good. I would consider this a big portion for a happy hour item. We took part of this home for a midnight snack. FYI, the spring roll sauce is the same sauce as the dressing for the salad.

The whole spread: so good. Side of Lychee Martini on the left, also so good. Not on the happy hour menu but I asked the bartender for drinks that he could make for me at the same price. He made me this Lychee martini for the happy hour price of about $5.

Toast to end 2009: Little Miss Sunshine on the left and Widmer Hef on the right. Little Miss Sunshine is basically a pomegranate champagne and it is so good.

Aw its like a school dance.

Things of note:
I did not write much to introduce Xanh because I want to lead in with the good and end with the slightly less good. I have not been so satisfied with a meal like Xanh in so long. I loved this place and definitely want to come back. But I do have to warn readers about two things.

1) Don't expect authentic, but do expect yummy. We don't really have garlic noodles and kobe beef spring rolls in Vietnamese food. Or that vinegar/lime sauce. The food is not on the same level as your hole in the wall joints off Tully Rd. But nonetheless it is good for its genre, which I would consider to be Asian fusion and we all know from the Straits entry that Asian fusion has not been a hit with me. Dood, don't even get me started on PF Chang's.

2) It is pricey. I don't know the exact prices of the regular dinner menu but I know it takes an arm, a leg, and maybe a set of balls to have a fulfilling meal here. Go for the happy hour. You may only get to eat a few dishes but they are worth it. The portion is large, the quality is excellent, and the price is cheap. The drinks were also very tasty.

The ambience is nice and made for lovely pictures. The service was really good too because we were one of the only ones to arrive at that hour and all eyes were on us. I usually don't mention these things because I don't give an F about them as my stomach and taste buds take first priority. But I had a pleasant enough experience to make this side note.

Xanh Restaurant on Yelp

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