Category Archives: Pacific Rim

VinBun Vietnamese introduces us to bún and more

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

We’ve learned to love Vietnamese food. We’re big fans of pho, and we’ve learned to call it “phuh” when we order it.

Now let’s warm up to Vietnam’s other iconic dish, bún, which rhymes with “boon.” Want to get to know bún? You can’t go wrong by trekking out to the metro’s newest Vietnamese eatery, Vin Bun in Middletown, where the name of the dish is part of the restaurant’s moniker! Continue reading VinBun Vietnamese introduces us to bún and more

Vietnam Kitchen stayed, and we are so happy

The rumors started more than four years ago, and they spread quickly: “Vietnam Kitchen is going to close! The owner wants to retire! Next time they close for vacation, they won’t open again!”

The fear was real. Vietnam Kitchen – VK, as its fans invariably abbreviate it – is the longest-standing Vietnamese restaurant still open in Louisville. It was founded in 1993 by Vietnamese immigrant Alex Lam and his family. Continue reading Vietnam Kitchen stayed, and we are so happy

Delicious tofu takeout at Heart & Soy

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

I’m pretty sure I unleashed a small rant last autumn when the Delta variant was coming on, threatening to retreat into takeout dining until things blew over a bit.

I didn’t actually do that. I’m vaccinated, and now boosted too, so what, me worry?

But the other day, eyeing news reports about the Omicron variant and rising positivity tolls, I started thinking about takeout again. Continue reading Delicious tofu takeout at Heart & Soy

For a good pho, call Eatz Vietnamese

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Last week I had to try calling Vietnam Kitchen a half-dozen times before I could break through the busy line. I guess I wasn’t the only Louisville foodie aching to find out for sure if they were really back from a month-long vacation.

But one reality remains: Vietnam Kitchen, the beloved South End storefront eatery that introduced many of us to Vietnamese cuisine, isn’t going to stay the same, assuming it stays at all. The shop is definitely on the market as a turnkey operation, and owner Alex Lam will eventually either hand it over to new owners or close it.

We wish the Lam family and Vietnam Kitchen’s many fans well, but let’s face it: If you haven’t done this already, it’s past time to begin exploring the metro’s other Vietnamese restaurants. There are at least a dozen, and each has its own particular pleasures. But when I’m hankering for pho, the traditional and soul-consoling Vietnamese soup, I head for Eatz Vietnamese. Continue reading For a good pho, call Eatz Vietnamese

Simply Thai makes takeout delicious and easy

Now that I’ve resumed dining in with last week’s Monnik Beer Co. review, it’s back to sitting down at a restaurant table every week, right?

Well, no, not necessarily. This week, for instance, I got takeout from Simply Thai. Before I tell you about the food, let’s talk about this. Continue reading Simply Thai makes takeout delicious and easy

hiko-A-mon’s fine Japanese style rewards our eyes and palates

It’s hard to believe that Louisville got its first sushi bar, of sorts, as recently as the middle 1980s. (It’s also hard to believe that I’ve been writing about food and drink for that long, but that’s another story for another day.)

Back when Louisville had its first taste of locally-made sushi, served over a Fourth Street drug-store lunch counter on Thursdays only, the idea of sushi was a bit divisive. A few of us yelled “Yay!” A substantial percentage responded, “Yuk! Raw fish!”

Times have surely changed. Continue reading hiko-A-mon’s fine Japanese style rewards our eyes and palates

Tiny Thai Cafe ranks as a favorite

Since the pandemic started, I’ve been focusing on how we can enjoy local eateries and support the restaurant business while still assuring ourselves maximum protection against the pandemic. That approach consistently leads me to places that make it easy to order and pay online and pick up my food via no-touch curbside delivery.

But it crossed my mind the other day that this method rules out a lot of the little storefront shops that often present the world cuisines that I love. Many of them simply don’t have the resources to set up fancy online ordering systems or spare staff to run bags out to your car.

So, craving delicious fare from some storefront Asian spot or gyros house or taqueria or something, I set about finding out how I could do this safely. I ended up at Thai Cafe in Holiday Manor, a longtime favorite, and walked out with an outstanding meal in a bag, feeling completely safe. Continue reading Tiny Thai Cafe ranks as a favorite

Get your sushi on the go from ToGo Sushi

One of the great pleasures of sushi for me is the opportunity to sit down at the sushi bar, admire the artfully arranged rows of beautifully cut seafood and fish, and talk with the chef about what’s interesting and good.

But I have to be honest: During the pandemic, the idea of joining a few neighbors and a chef or two in such close quarters does not appeal, not even with masks and social distancing in play.

Happily, many of the city’s sushi bars offer a takeout option. But one stands out: ToGo Sushi, as its name implies, does most of its business – you guessed it – to go. Continue reading Get your sushi on the go from ToGo Sushi

You can’t beat the pho at NamNam Café

It’s easy to overlook NamNam Café. It’s tiny, you don’t hear a lot about it, and it’s off on a St. Matthews side street.

But you really shouldn’t miss it. It’s one of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants, even among a dozen strong competitors.

[During the Covid-19 closure of dine-in restaurants, NamNam is offering carryout and curbside pickup for phone orders. Diners may also arrange delivery via Postmates or DoorDash.] Continue reading You can’t beat the pho at NamNam Café