posted on May 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm
At Nam Phuong (5495 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross, 770-409-8686, www.namphuongatlanta.com), chef/owner Tieng Nguyen has created a decidedly more feminine feel and a greater breadth of offerings than found at its hole-in-the-wall competitors. The elegant dining room is flanked by a full bar. Amber sconces pepper the walls adding a soft, warm glow at night. Friendly servers buzz around at lightning speed. Most are well versed in the encyclopedic menu and are composed enough to lend a touch of formality to the dining experience.
Spring rolls and other standards abound on the appetizer menu, but the lotus, shrimp and pork salad tantalizes the senses with its contrasting textures flavors and sounds – yes, sounds. The acidic mix of shredded lotus root and perfectly cooked proteins is scooped and eaten with puffed circles of rice that snap, crackle and pop as you carefully transport them to your mouth. Another salad of sorts, the bo luc lac – or shaking beef – has juicy chunks of grilled beef and a slurry of salt and pepper sauce for drizzling or dipping, plus a tangle of crunchy watercress – a welcome change from the usual romaine lettuce you see elsewhere. You can make a meal out of either salad, but the menu holds too many other treats to stop there.
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