VietnameseWTEIKC | 18 Mar 2006 02:06 pm

Saigon 39 – 1806-1/2 W 39, KCMO, 64111, (816) 531-4447

It would be more accurate to call Saigon 39’s fare ‘Vietnamese-inspired’ than authentic. But what inspiration. This bright, airy restaurant has been wildly popular since opening in the early ’90s. Moreover, the food is accessible enough to a timid Midwestern pallet that Saigon 39 has served to move many Kansas Citians to seek out and appreciate the ‘real thing’ (but of course, they still keep coming back). Every dish – many of which are served with a side of proprietress Mimi’s famous fish vinaigrette – is made with the best ingredients available. Build your own dish by starting with various kinds of noodles or soup, and then add your favorite combination of vegetables, meat, and seafood. Even during the lunch rush when they are at their busiest, the staff is warm and accommodating. Prices are generally affordable, but especially so at lunchtime.

VietnameseWTEIKC | 18 Mar 2006 02:02 pm

Hien Vuong – 417 Main St., KCMO, 64105, (816) 842-1020

Located in the courtyard area of Kansas City’s “River Market” (you can’t see the place from the street), this inaustere restaurant has one of the best bowls of pho dac biet in town.