The interior of Far East--the new Vietnamese at the corner of 11th and Fatherland, is a style quickly becoming familiar--clean, functional, industrial yet homey. Call it Aughties Resto.
Limes were being squeezed by the dozen at the counter, so a tall glass of the brisk sweet-tart limeade was a foregone conclusion. Starter of fresh shrimp rolls, bafflingly served with what tasted like straight-from-the-bottle hoisin topped with chopped peanuts. Raise your hand if you love hoisin straight from the bottle.
Man-size portions of lemongrass grilled chicken and fish-sauce grilled eggplant with ground pork followed. These were dinner-sized portions served with sticky rice. The chicken was delicious, with a sweet coating that caramelized over the flames. No lemongrass flavor in evidence but still nicely done. Grilled eggplant and ground pork was straightforward, maybe a little bland, so I was heaping chili paste onto it when the server arrived with nuoc cham sauce for dipping/pouring over. Nuoc cham, one of the traditional dips for fresh shrimp rolls. Just sayin. Entrées were $8 and $9 respectively.
It's worth a trip, and I hope to return for the pho, which gets high marks for its rich broth, and for the Vietnamese sandwiches.