I have to start by saying when it come to Vietnamese restaurants, I was spoiled early on. I say this, as before moving to NYC I lived in southern California, (Newport Beach) just a few miles south of "Little Saigon" (Santa Anna, Garden Grove), which makes up the largest concentration of Vietnamese in the US. However, with that said, you can find good Vietnamese restaurants in New York - there are several I enjoy, but my favorite is clearly Th'ai So'n in Elmhurst (Queens). The ten year old Th'ai So'n, which means "Good meat" in Vietnamese, also has another location in Manhattan's Chinatown, (which also is good) but I prefer the Queens location, for it seems more "authentic" as most of people dining are Vietnamese.
I have eaten at Th'ai So'n probably at least fifty times, and the food is consistently delicious and very fresh. The menu is huge, with 137 food items, including 15 "Phos" (the Vietnamese noodle soup). I always start with a Pho, the photo above is called "Tai' (#6 on the menu) which is a combination of Beef broth, rice noodles, with Fresh Eye Round. My favorite entree, and is pictured is called "Banh Hoi Thit Nuong" (#37 on menu) consists of Grilled Pork sliced with Angel Hair noodle, with lettuce, cucumber and mint leaves. As you wrap the pork in the leaves and then dip into the sweet fish sauce, it is messy, you will use lots of napkins - BUT . . . it is so GOOD! I find Thai Son' does the grilling of the pork better than any other restaurant in the city.
The food is great . . . but another reason why Thai Son' is special is the environment of the restaurant. The interior is adorned by a string of pretty lights, bamboo, and several high-quality paintings of Vietnamese rural scenes. Music is soft, understated, and the service is warm and fun-loving.
Address - 4010 74th Street (Elmhurst, Queens) (718) 476 - 6805