Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chelsea Vietnamese at Co Ba

I know, guys.  I keep trying.  Good Vietnamese in Manhattan - it's my golden goose !

Inside tips led me to Co Ba in Chelsea.  A nondescript red awning along 18th St and 9th Ave, the place is pretty minimalist, but warm, with a series of conical straw hats lined along the wall to emit some true Vietnamese ambience.

Shared a bowl of beef pho as an appetizer.  Actually pretty tasty if it wasn't so salty.  If they just diluted it with maybe a half cup of hot water, this pho might be on point ! Fixins are a bit sparse too, so hopefully you're not too into that classic bean sprout-basil action.

For lunch, the menu is a bit limited, but a fun option is the banh uot thit nuong, featuring chunks of chewy rice noodles ("housemade rice ravioli") topped with crispy onions, grilled pork, and Vietnamese ham / sausage.  Drizzled with some chili-lime sauce, it makes a fun, light and surprisingly filling dish.

I've been craving some vermicelli noodles of late, so I ordered the bun ga nuong, the classic vermicelli bowl with marinated chicken breast, greens, fat, salty peanuts and chili-lime sauce.  The noodles were a touch musty, but otherwise, this dish hit the spot.  I gotta start making this at home.  I can see myself eating this all summer long.

The price point of Co Ba is a notch above Chinatown, as you'd expect, but it's worth a visit in the area if you're looking for some light, fairly solid Vietnamese fare.  I still want to go back and try their thit kho (caramelized, braised pork belly).  You could actually get a banh mi thit kho during lunch, and man, my mind was a bit blown thinking about it.

Next time!

Han's Nonsensical Rating: Not worth going out of your way for, but an okay option if you're in the area.  Order a glass of their kumquat limeade for a refreshing way to wash down that Vietnamese cuisine!

Co Ba
110 9th Ave
New York, NY
Co Ba on Urbanspoon

1 comment: