Nha Trang Palace
I’m on my Barcelona kick, but this pre-vacation meal has been sitting in the hopper and I can’t just toss it out for bigger and better things. I really like Vietnamese food, but for me it’s kind of a back burner cuisine. When I think Asian, Thai, Chinese or Malaysian pop into my head first. Vietnamese feels healthy to me and I’m not always in a healthy mood. And now that I think about it, I almost only ever eat the same three things: banh mi, cha gio or pho. I need some serious horizon expanding.
I had originally planned a birthday party for July 28, yet somehow decided to cancel it, had zero celebration whatsoever, ended up eating soup in Sunset Park and going to bed relatively early. And who says 34 isn’t fun? At least I got an ice cream cake.
I'm always amazed by the many permutations of pho available at most Vietnamese restaurants. I usually stick with the everything but the kitchen sink dac biet approach. The ingredients do differ. Here the $5.25they included verbatim: six difference brisket, navel, frank, omosa, tendon and eye of round. Ok, frank I think is flank. I'm a little scared of what navel and omosa are, though at least one must be a variation of tripe, as there were bumpy white sea creature looking strips in the bowl. I do like the meaty contrasts of crunchy, gelatinous and chewy, and how the paper thin rare round cooks in the broth.
We also had cha gio because fried rolls are always irresistible, but they weren't remarkable here. The filling was very porky, maybe a bit too much so and the wrapper was bubbly from the oil, but lacked a crisp bite.
Nha Trang Palace is likeable, but no great shakes. If you’re ever in Sunset Park and want pho, it’s as good as any.
Nha Trang Palace * 5906 Eighth Ave., Brooklyn, NY