The Lai family fled both Vietnam and a Malaysian refugee camp before opening this once tiny Vietnamese restaurant in 1984. Benny Lai, the son of the original owners, took over in 1989 and renovated the space into a three-story building with a lounge. The larger menu still has family recipes like cha gio (spring rolls) and canh chua Thai (seafood soup), as well as more approachable dishes like chicken noodle soup. Tropical drinks include the Flaming Volcano, a Tiki glass filled with juice, four liquors, and a fiery center.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.