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Miss Saigon, Georgetown

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Nam Viet in Cleveland Park, and I think it has come up, is generally agreed to be the best Vietnamese in the city, although that's not saying very much. Then there are the almost universally reviled two restaurants next door to each other on M St. in Georgetown, and Miss Saigon on the other side of the street in the next block. The incarnation of Miss Saigon that used to be on Columbia Road was pretty good; I've never heard anything about the Georgetown place.
Funny you should mention Miss Saigon - I was just there on Wednesday and tried to find a mention of it here. I enjoyed my meal - the ambience is nothing special, but not bad either. The garden rolls* were good as was my entree-size lemongrass shrimp soup, served in a (spark-shooting) hot pot. Perhaps more Thai in its flavoring, it was full of shrimp and pleasantly tangy/spicy. My friends both enjoyed their entrees - the caramel salmon in a clay pot and the "Golden Crepe". I'm going to have to go back and try the crepe - it is a very thin, crispy omelet filled with shrimp, chicken, sprouts, veggies, and served with nuoc mam. It looked tasty and my very petite friend polished off the entire thing without sharing a bite :D . Miss Saigon may not be as good as some of the options in the area, but based on my one-time experience, it's a perfectly pleasant place to stop in for a relatively cheap and decent meal.

* I do prefer Nam Viet's garden rolls - the Clarendon location usually. Nam Viet is another place that is rarely mentioned (except for above :P ) and one that I really hope doesn't go the way of so many of the other small, local places that used to be in Clarendon. They are now dwarfed under tall buildings, minus their outdoor deck, and slightly off the beaten path (by about a half block), but the food is always good and the service is friendly. My experiences (mostly carry-out) with the Arlandria location on Mt. Vernon Avenue have also been good.

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This place has not changed much, I think, and certainly will placate any cravings of Vietnam food, if you happen to find yourself in Georgetown, as my friend and I were about two weeks ago. But, of course, there is better Vietnamese food in the surburbs.

An order of garden rolls is decent and not too skinny, if a restaurant were to skimp on fillings. I like that the dipping peanut sauce is thicker than other places I have tried, and I prefer the thicker dipping sauces.

A friend wanted rice for her grilled chicken and beef bun. I forgot what they called on the menu, but it was the meat and vemicelli bowls often found in Vietnamese cuisine. She said the meats were flavorful, but it just looked oddly plain from a layman's perspective.

Anything with the words roast quail should be tried, as the Roast quail soup (small - $4.95) yielded a tasty roast quail with egg noodles in a bowl of comforting (albeit a little flat) chicken broth.

They do serve really nice, strong, Vietnamese coffee (although a little acidic for me) here, and having it iced was a perfect way to start and end the meal on a hot day, catching up with a friend.

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