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Nam Restaurant: Atlanta

posted on November 3, 2005 at 12:03 pm
RESTAURANT REVIEW:
When I first moved to San Francisco, my only experience with Vietnamese cuisine was in the Pho houses on Buford Highway. I went to Charles Phan’s
The Slanted Door restaurant one of the first weeks I was there and fell in love. I went to Nam, which had just opened, on a trip to Atlanta. I was excited because Atlanta really needed an upscale Vietnamese presence. They had many of the same dishes as Slanted Door but there was a huge difference in the quality of the ingredients and preparation. I hadn’t gone back since that night because I was just not impressed with what I ate. I went back for lunch today with some friends hoping things had improved. The restaurant was pretty full. We were promptly seated and our waitress came over immediately to take our drink orders. My table ordered the following: Grilled Ground Shrimp on Sugar Cane (Chao Tom), Rice Flour Tamale (Banh Nam), Crab and Asparagus Soup (Sup Mang Cua), Claypot Chicken (Ga Kho To, Lemongrass Beef (Bo Xao Xa Ot), Spicy Claypot Catfish (Ca Kho To) and Cellophane Noodles (Mien Xao Do Bien). The sugar cane shrimp were decent but the lettuce was wilted and the seasoning was way off. The tamale was a good idea but the banana leaf overpowered the delicate rice flour filling. This may be good to some but I just don’t like the taste of banana leaves. The noodles were bland and a bit overcooked. The beef was good but I got bored after a few bites. The chopped raw garlic was too strong and it did not allow the flavor of the lemongrass to come through. I did not try either of the claypot dishes or the soup. My dining companions seemed to enjoy them though. Now, I won’t say this is a place to avoid simply because Atlantans need this in the restaurant mix. I just wish they were cooking with a bit more love and authenticity.

RESTAURANT INFORMATION:

Address: 931 Monroe Drive
Phone: 404-541-9997
URL: http://namrestaurant.com/index.html
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Nam on Urbanspoon
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