Saturday, November 26, 2005

Indochine update

OK, I went back to Atwater's Indochine so that my faithful commenters couldn't accuse me of being "unfair" by not liking my meal or of my "tastebuds not working that day." I ordered a chicken pho and a cold cuts bahn mi -- the only type offered. The chicken pho, recommended by the nasty commenter who suggested that "Gingergrass asked me to give Indochine a bad review" -- as if!, was quite good, or at least much better than Pho Cafe. The broth had a nice chickeny flavor and the rice noodles which were hopelessly gummy in the bun dish fared much better in the warm broth. The bahn mi was pretty lackluster on first taste but after a minute in the toaster oven and application of chili sauce and sweet brown soyish sauce, it wasn't bad. I suggested they offer a chicken or other flavor bahn mi -- the manager seemed surprised that some people don't eat head cheese -- and he thought it was a good idea. Everyone there is quite nice, although with at least 11 employees milling around the small cafe on a quiet afternoon, there's a bit of a Three Stooges quality to the service. So, I hope this is fair enough. If you want a good bowl of chicken noodle soup, Indochine's your place. As far as the other dishes, you'll have to see for yourself.

7 comments:

Terila said...

Boy, the comment about being in cahoots with Ginger Grass was bizarre at best.

I still have to make it over there but I must admit being put off by reviews by many people that were either negative or lukewarm. That is the fault of the establishment in question.

I appreciate your reviews. I find them to be fair and pretty much what I have found when experiencing the restaurant myself. Keep up the good work!

foodfan said...

i've been to indochine twice and have also found their decor cute and service spotty. but the food has been pretty tasty. their rolls were crisp and light and their pork chop was well seasoned. however what really distinguished them for me was their pho. for me, pho is the ultimate test, and indochine's beef pho did not disappoint--it was fragrant and flavorful compared to the gingergrass pho which is a lot saltier and 'dark'--lacking good flavor. (i dare you to compare!)

don't get me wrong, gingergrass is great for being a trendy affordable restaurant in silver lake. i have brought many first-timer friends and guests there for their intro to vietnamese food. but it's been off my neighborhood restaurant list now for quite some time. it's indifferent service and prices that get only steeper and steeper are a turnoff.

Anonymous said...

I think comparing the two is comparing apples and cucumber. Gingerglass is trying for fusion and trendy and I wish them well. Indochine should be more authentic, but is just sort of blah.
KC

Jory said...

I eaten here 3 times (2 times were take-out)

I have had the Pho Ga, the bun cha gio thit nuong and springrolls . At first I was underwhelmed (by the food) but I live close by and planned to give it a chance. Each time I have been more impressed.

The last time I ordered the Bun (same as Matt, noodles, greens, egg rolls, chicken) mine was perfect. I added some chili paste to the translucent (fish?) sauce, stirred it up and doused my bowl and tossed all the ingredients together like a salad. (This is how a friend instructed me to do it at another Vietnamese restaurant.) My noodles were perfect and the other elements were fresh and flavorful (the sauce is key!)

I will keep trying other items although I'd be happy to repeat the Bun.

Like you I am kinda confused by the amount of people in the kitchen standing around. Each time I go, there must be a dozen. Maybe they are in training? I guess I'm afraid of the old adage...

Anonymous said...

after reading both of your reviews, as well as that of others, i decided to try Indochine for myself. First off, I had the Vietnamese crepe with chicken and shrimp. Let me tell you, it was as delicious as it looked. After the waiter instructed us on how to eat it (cut it in pieces, wrap them in lettuce, and dip it into the sauce), it was beyond my expectations. The subtle taste of coconut with the fresh crunchiness of the lettuce was very pleasing. Next, I tried one of their pho's...I had the beef one with rare steak, brisket, and meatballs. The meat was plentiful, but it was the broth that caught my attention. It was not oily (unlike other pho's i've had) and i couldnt taste any MSG.

The numerous people in the kitchen is a little amusing, but if thats what it takes to make good food like i had, then so be it...

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Quinn Cummings said...

We had Sunday lunch at Ginger Grass today and it was wonderful. The place was packed but dind't seem crushed or rushed. The food was terrific. Service just fine. As a neighborhood spot, it's now up there with Allegria as a place to enjoy good food with friends and family on a whim. (Apparently they don't take reservations; so there's that...)