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StephenB

Nam-Viet Pho 79, Family-Owned Vietnamese in Clarendon - Cleveland Park Location Closed Jun 25, 2017

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Have been to Nam-Viet many times but don't think I've ever posted on it. I think of it as serviceable as in, well priced and good enough to return (as I have) if convenient (which it is).  That said, much better Vietnamese can be had in VA--Annandale, Four Sisters in Merrifield and Pho (forgetting the number) in Arlington for pho.

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Johnf   

This is for nam Viet. This place is alright, but they dont seem to have any idea what Nyuk Mam is (the clear kind not the sweet kind) is when I ask for it, even though its a very common vietnamese ingredient, and I like to add it to my pho. And yes, I have ordered the cuisine here, its alright, but no comparison to Mihns for portions or price. Place is decent, but prices are actually cheaper by a fraction of a dollar at Mihns, which has more accomodating service and better ambience. So unless you live closer to Nam Viet than Mihns, and you dont feel like going to the Eden Center, Its alright, other than that, I would recommend Mihns or nearly any place in the Eden Center above this place.

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This is for nam Viet. This place is alright, but they dont seem to have any idea what Nyuk Mam is (the clear kind not the sweet kind) is when I ask for it,

I'm assuming you mean nước mắm, which is fish sauce. I haven't eaten here in awhile (Arlington location), but when I used to go often there was always an oil/vinegar type dispenser full of nước mắm floating around the restaurant. There is no "sweet kind", unless your referring to nước chấm which is a condiment made with fish sauce, sugar, lime juice or vinegar, and sometimes garlic and chillies. Also, in the past, some of the servers were not Vietnamese so they may not have understood what you were asking.

This restaurant seems to have always catered to a non-Vietnamese clientele. For instance, when they serve phở, they don't serve basil on the side, but chop it up and put it in the soup. On the up side, they include chopped sawtooth herb (culantro) as well as basil in their phở, which most places don't serve (and the broth is good). Many dishes that would normally be served with fresh herbs and some raw vegetables are usually not, except for lettuce and watercress (and bean sprouts for phở) . Like Thai restaurants not serving raw vegetables with dishes, they probably learned long ago that Americans will leave all that stuff on plate and they would end up throwing most of it away.

(maybe there is a Three Stooges Brand Fish Sauce, Nyuk Mam) :P

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ktmoomau   

I do like Minh's but I think Nam Viet does carmelized meat better than Minh's but Minh's has other dishes that they do much better.  I don't tend to prefer one, it's more a what are you eating type of thing.  Nam Viet has better shrimp toast and I prefer their rolls.

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KeithA   

I live right near the Cleveland Park Nam Viet so it has been a regular, consistent go to spot of mine for many, many years. The pho is definitely more Americanized in that while there are various protein options, there is only 2 beef options (spicy and not and both are thin sliced flank? steak) - that being said it is still very good.  I especially enjoy the tofu garden/fresh rolls that taste extra fresh with the addition of some mint leaves and a great peanut sauce. My other go to choices here are the 1) lemongrass skewered beef either over rice or vermecelli noodles - (you tend to get more herbs with the vermecelli version) and 2) #46? the stir fried noodles with tofu, vegetables, and crushed peanuts (I think of it as vietnamese vegetarian pad thai).Lately, we've also been getting the carmelized chicken with ginger but it isn't as good -sometime the chicken is overcooked and last time the dish was super spicy whereas it usually is rather mild. As a guilty pleasure I also like the crispy vegetarian rolls but they basically deep fried grease with a bite of veggies dipped in their excellent nuoc cham (sweetened, prepared fish sauce). Overall, it is a good place, the prices are good for the area and it seems to be one of the better Vietnamese options in the city (albeit that is only saying so much) - so if you are closer to here I say go and enjoy, but if you want something more authentic or don't mind travelling to the burbs, then go forth.

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ktmoomau   

I live right near the Cleveland Park Nam Viet so it has been a regular, consistent go to spot of mine for many, many years. The pho is definitely more Americanized in that while there are various protein options, there is only 2 beef options (spicy and not and both are thin sliced flank? steak) - that being said it is still very good.  I especially enjoy the tofu garden/fresh rolls that taste extra fresh with the addition of some mint leaves and a great peanut sauce. My other go to choices here are the 1) lemongrass skewered beef either over rice or vermecelli noodles - (you tend to get more herbs with the vermecelli version) and 2) #46? the stir fried noodles with tofu, vegetables, and crushed peanuts (I think of it as vietnamese vegetarian pad thai).Lately, we've also been getting the carmelized chicken with ginger but it isn't as good -sometime the chicken is overcooked and last time the dish was super spicy whereas it usually is rather mild. As a guilty pleasure I also like the crispy vegetarian rolls but they basically deep fried grease with a bite of veggies dipped in their excellent nuoc cham (sweetened, prepared fish sauce). Overall, it is a good place, the prices are good for the area and it seems to be one of the better Vietnamese options in the city (albeit that is only saying so much) - so if you are closer to here I say go and enjoy, but if you want something more authentic or don't mind travelling to the burbs, then go forth.

Those horrible for you deep fried rolls are good.

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The pho is definitely more Americanized in that while there are various protein options, there is only 2 beef options (spicy and not and both are thin sliced flank? steak) - that being said it is still very good.

I forgot to mention you can only get the sliced flank steak. That's another drawback for me, as I like to get "bible" tripe, soft tendon, bouncy rubbery meatballs and whatever other exciting textures are offered when I get phở . But they do have good broth.

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hopsing   

I used to go there regularly when I worked at Van Ness.  My go-to order:  pho with wontons, add some tofu.  Please remember that there is still the original Nam Viet in Clarendon.

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DaveO   

Thanks to @Gadarene I tried the spicy beef hue  in Clarendon.

Quote

I have a soft spot in my heart for Nam Viet and their beef hue.  I love those round noodles and the overall level of spice.

and enjoyed it.  It is spicy.  I believe I had a slight nose cold that day; the spices and aroma from the broth went right up my nostrils and my nose was running sort of non-stop.   LOL.  Very full, spicy hot.  I think I'll wait till colder weather to have it again.  Also as referenced earlier the crispy egg rolls (okay-not healthy for you) were also delish.

Ah Nam Viet: Back before Clarendon became the Clarendon it is today and had a plethora of Vietnamese restaurants Nam Viet was my go to among them.  Glad it survived the changes.  Have scarcely been there in over a decade.  Nice to stop by again.   I'll return.

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Their summer rolls (the non-fried ones wrapped in rice paper) are also delicious. Their pho is quite good too.

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dcs   
17 minutes ago, Genevieve said:

Their summer rolls (the non-fried ones wrapped in rice paper) are also delicious.

I do not think I have ever ordered takeout at the Clarendon location without getting at least one order of these rolls.

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The restaurant is renovating over the next few weeks, to "revitalize" the restaurant. It's the first time they've done it since it's been open.

I saw the tweet from Arl Now, which started with "Long-time Clarendon restaurant Nam-Viet will be closing..." and my heart sank. Very glad to read the rest of the sentence, "for several weeks of renovations starting next week."

https://www.arlnow.com/2017/07/25/nam-viet-restaurant-closing-for-renovations/

And now I will go hum "We're closed for renovation, for spiffing up and grooming, 'cause customers are flocking, and business has been booming..." from Little Shop of Horrors.

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dcs   
On ‎8‎/‎7‎/‎2013 at 6:53 PM, dcs said:

Clarendon location closed for renovations again until August 12, 2013.

I did not notice any differences after the last renovation.  Maybe this time will be different.  Maybe "renovations" is just the Vietnamese word for "summer vacation."

Nam-Viet Restaurant Closing for Renovations, by ARLnow.com — July 25, 2017 at 10:00 am.  The Clarendon location has been closing for at least a couple weeks every August for "renovations" for as long as I can remember.  Yet, the interior never seems to change.  Is it really that shameful to say you are closing for vacation to give your staff and family a well-deserved break?

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DonRocks   
22 hours ago, dcs said:

Nam-Viet Restaurant Closing for Renovations, by ARLnow.com — July 25, 2017 at 10:00 am.  The Clarendon location has been closing for at least a couple weeks every August for "renovations" for as long as I can remember.  Yet, the interior never seems to change.  Is it really that shameful to say you are closing for vacation to give your staff and family a well-deserved break?

One thing this may do is prevent theft. Saying "Closed to visit our family and friends in Vietnam" is one-step removed from handing someone a key. :) 

There may also be issues relating to the staff (an involuntary three-week layoff), although I don't know what they'd be - maybe some law states that you can only give your employees unpaid leave if you're renovating? I'm not saying that's what anyone is doing - certainly not this establishment which has been here for decades; that's merely the first thing that popped into my head.

Screenshot 2017-07-26 at 8.43.54 AM.png

I love their "Can-Tho-Nese" pun.

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