The menu runs several pages, with familiar items like pho, bun (rice noodles) and banh mi (Vietnamese Sandwiches), but it’s worth straying a bit off the beaten path and tucking into some less known items including lime marinated beef carpaccio served in a cocktail glass; a Vietnamese crepe that’s sweet and savory, filled with shrimp and bean sprouts; iced coffee, served in a drip-pour glass with sweetened condensed milk and exotic fruit sodas with banana, strawberry or raspberry. Shaken Beef is a top pick, with tender cubes of filet mignon and sliced onions in garlic and fish sauce that’s rich with tart, umami and peppery flavors. Don’t worry about the name, though which refers to the cooking technique of shaking the pan, not the beef itself.
At the former Panda Buffet, 1202 W Steele Ln., Santa Rosa, 528-3747.[sh-slideshow-post id=”24509″]