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HA & VL


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#1 averilpdx

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:22 PM

I just saw this on Oregon Live- sounds intriguing (but very meaty so I probably won't try it).


Copy from Oregon Live is below:


The find of the summer. Period. Don't be fooled by the generic-looking exterior: Inside is a charming Vietnamese deli with an Asian modern-pop sensibility that runs from the bright lime and orange walls to the green vines playfully draped over industrial pipes. Sandwiches are available, but come for the daily soup special, highly prized by Vietnamese diners for breakfast and usually sold out by noon during the week.

Owners Ha Luu and William Voung H. (the HA and VL of the restaurant's name) are clearly not in this for the money. They are artisans, making labor-intensive regional soups in small batches -- not nearly enough supply for the demand, but to them, quality is all. Their soups are built around vibrant, slow-simmered broths from whole chickens or baby pork ribs. Noodles are soaked an hour before their brief trip to the boiling pot -- a method that assures an extra bounce of chewy goodness..

Even the Vietnamese iced coffee is a head-snapper: deeply roasty, with a subtle spike of salt, just enough custard-thick condensed milk and blessedly not too sweet ($2.75). Luu knows how to make it just right, but for an extra dollar you can have the joy of making your own, with a drip-pot set over a glass and add-your-own sugar and condensed milk, plus a thermos of hot water to keep the 15-minute process perking.

Each day brings a different soup ($7). Regulars know the drill. Monday is for Bun Rieu, a pink-hued soup pumped with fried shrimp paste; Tuesday brings Bun Moc, a pork ball wonder from central Vietnam; and so on. Soupers with true religion come on Friday for Hu Tieu Nam Vang, a fragrant bowl with its own porkocracy: intestines, belly and meatballs, a dish that gains its own delirium when spiked with HA & VL's blend of vinegar and red chiles supplied on the side. "We call it TNT in vinegar," says Voung H. with a wicked grin. Believe him.

The hottest ticket is Sunday, when the kitchen showcases two soups: Pho Ga, a deep swoon of chicken noodle soup, and Bun Thang topped with exquisite blades of air-dried scrambled eggs and shredded poultry from free-range chickens flown in from Sacramento. Both soups often sell out by 10 a.m.

There must be a Vietnamese term for snooze, you lose. You've been warned.

2738 S.E. 82nd Ave., 503-772-0103, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

#2 ExtraMSG

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 07:07 PM

Yeah, Sauce has been advocating their daily specials for a while now. I never seem to get there in time and have only had the banh mi, which I find just okay.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#3 SauceSupreme

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 10:40 PM

Their coffee is top notch, too. I like their Chinese sausage but I'm not the biggest fan of the bread (they seem like they use Lanvin bread). But you can order a deconstructed xiu mai banh mi if you want to make your banh mi on your own.

I posted the daily specials on the banh mi thread:

http://portlandfood....s...ost&p=96187

What first clued me in to the fact that something was up was that I was kept trying to visit during the spring and they kept saying they were sold out of stuff. Then I realized they were open early but that they didn't bake their own bread.

I'd been trying to keep quiet for a few months about Ha&VL since they quickly became one of my favorite breakfast spots, but it looks like the cat is out of the bag.
"I'll settle for a cup of coffee, but you know what I really need." - REM

"Peel all of your layers off, I want to eat your artichoke heart." - Thom Yorke

http://lushangeles.com

#4 jmatt

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 03:27 AM

Thanks for the report! We're going to check it out tomorrow for lunch. Usually just walk to Pho Oregon, but looking forward to this--have driven past here many times, but never thought much about it..

Boy, it's nice living just off of 82nd.

#5 whippy

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 04:59 PM

I'd been trying to keep quiet for a few months about Ha&VL since they quickly became one of my favorite breakfast spots, but it looks like the cat is out of the bag.


You held out on us? :)
I love how yummy food makes me feel happy!!!!!!

#6 SauceSupreme

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 05:16 PM


I'd been trying to keep quiet for a few months about Ha&VL since they quickly became one of my favorite breakfast spots, but it looks like the cat is out of the bag.


You held out on us? :)


Not true, as evidenced by the fact that I posted the menu. I just never sounded the charge.
"I'll settle for a cup of coffee, but you know what I really need." - REM

"Peel all of your layers off, I want to eat your artichoke heart." - Thom Yorke

http://lushangeles.com

#7 whippy

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 05:41 PM

Scant evidence. I call subterfuge and treason.







:)
I love how yummy food makes me feel happy!!!!!!

#8 whippy

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 08:59 AM

I've gotten a chance to try a couple of the soups now, the Pink Soup and the Hue Beef. Artisan is a great word to use here. You can tell the soups are made in small batches with pride and care. I've eaten my share of fish- and meat- balls that taste like they're fresh from the factory. Ha VL's shrimpcakes and porkballs on the other hand must be homemade, they're especially delicious.

Service is like Mom and Dad fussing worriedly over you, very sweet.

Wish I could finagle a free Friday for the Pnompenh Noodle Soup: shrimp and fishballs, charsin pork, squid, pork liver, slices of pork with noodles in pork broth mixed with ground pork and chinese celery.

Hasn't been busy, btw, on either of my stops.
I love how yummy food makes me feel happy!!!!!!

#9 SauceSupreme

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 10:00 AM

I'm also a big fan of their xiu mai in the banh mi (bread notwithstanding), but yeah those soups are pretty awesome.

The "mom and dad fussing over you" aspect is totally accurate.
"I'll settle for a cup of coffee, but you know what I really need." - REM

"Peel all of your layers off, I want to eat your artichoke heart." - Thom Yorke

http://lushangeles.com

#10 mczlaw

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:37 PM

Wish I could finagle a free Friday for the Pnompenh Noodle Soup: shrimp and fishballs, charsin pork, squid, pork liver, slices of pork with noodles in pork broth mixed with ground pork and chinese celery.


Wondering if they have a vegetarian or kosher version of this soup ;)

--mcz


#11 SauceSupreme

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:56 PM

Wish I could finagle a free Friday for the Pnompenh Noodle Soup: shrimp and fishballs, charsin pork, squid, pork liver, slices of pork with noodles in pork broth mixed with ground pork and chinese celery.


I've also seen this soup as a special at Pho Hung Ne
"I'll settle for a cup of coffee, but you know what I really need." - REM

"Peel all of your layers off, I want to eat your artichoke heart." - Thom Yorke

http://lushangeles.com

#12 tdub

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 12:59 PM

Oh man, this place is GOOD. I FINALLY got over there for Saturday lunch. The Peppery Porkball Noodle Soup was perfect for a crummy, wet, windy day. These guys don't bowl you over with quantity, but the obvious care in preparation is notable. The pork meatballs are very flavorful and the broth is complex and rich, without the slightest hint of greasiness. The owners are VERY sweet and obviously proud of their little place, which got a glowing review in A&E a few weeks ago. The owners also proudly showed me the feature about HA & VL from this month's MIX magazine.

I expected the place to be crammed, but I was in there past lunchtime and was able to waltz right in and order, my soup arriving a a very few minutes. Every day there is a different soup featured and I can't wait to carve my way through the menu. Sunday must be a big day, when one of the choices is Chicken Noodle Soup, utilizing organic chickens from Sacramento. The owner told me I can always call ahead for an order because they always seem to run out before closing time.

Just a note. As is the Vietnamese tradition, Pho is common breakfast fare, so HA & VL is open from 8a-4p. Other than the tremendous Seafood Pho at Pho Van, this was the best preparation of Pho I have had in Portland. When I want to pig out, Pho Oregon is always a great bet, but HA & VL are putting out some unique Pho in a city with really good Pho.

HA & VL is in a tiny little mall just north of Fubon Market at 2738 SE 82nd.

#13 SauceSupreme

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 03:49 PM

One hundred style points to anyone who can correctly identify what their secret ingredient is in the coffee by tasting it. It's so damn good. (I finally had to break down and ask and boy was I surprised.)

Re: breakfast.

If a noodle shop isn't open at 9am or earlier, I ain't interested.

If a banh mi shop *isn't* open at 9am or earlier, they're probably not baking their own bread. If a banh mi shop *is* open that early and they still aren't baking their own bread (like Ha&VL), then they might actually be a noodle shop.
"I'll settle for a cup of coffee, but you know what I really need." - REM

"Peel all of your layers off, I want to eat your artichoke heart." - Thom Yorke

http://lushangeles.com

#14 ducky

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 04:02 PM

HA & VL is in a tiny little mall just north of Fubon Market at 2738 SE 82nd.


Thanks for that little bit of very useful info. :lol:
Pamela

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life
and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship.
It is of great importance to the morale.

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(Avatar is the cover of Sunlight Cafe by Mollie Katzen)

#15 whippy

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 07:29 PM

One hundred style points to anyone who can correctly identify what their secret ingredient is in the coffee by tasting it. It's so damn good. (I finally had to break down and ask and boy was I surprised.)


Breakfast tomorrow is supposed to be their shreddedegg noodles. I normally don't get ca phe, but with no real hope of style points I'll drink one anyway and see if I have a guess.

Sniff and slurp.

Is that anchovy...or vanilla?! :lol:
I love how yummy food makes me feel happy!!!!!!

#16 whippy

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 03:32 PM

From the Department of Wild Guesses:

1) tamarind (for the pleasing tang of the coffee)

or

2) roasted rice powder (for the pleasing toastiness)

Mebbe something more Frenchy?
I love how yummy food makes me feel happy!!!!!!

#17 SauceSupreme

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 09:47 PM

Alright, pretty close. I'll give you the answer in a PM.
"I'll settle for a cup of coffee, but you know what I really need." - REM

"Peel all of your layers off, I want to eat your artichoke heart." - Thom Yorke

http://lushangeles.com

#18 ExtraMSG

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:37 AM

I always thought Vietnamese just used Cafe du Monde, which does have chickory. But since I hate coffee, I'm not doing a taste test to find out.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#19 pokpok

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 06:07 AM

One hundred style points to anyone who can correctly identify what their secret ingredient is in the coffee by tasting it. It's so damn good. (I finally had to break down and ask and boy was I surprised.)

Re: breakfast.

If a noodle shop isn't open at 9am or earlier, I ain't interested.

If a banh mi shop *isn't* open at 9am or earlier, they're probably not baking their own bread. If a banh mi shop *is* open that early and they still aren't baking their own bread (like Ha&VL), then they might actually be a noodle shop.


she puts a tiny pinch of salt in the coffee grounds before filtering. it's actually written in the article, btw. i have had this is SEA before, as well as tea spiked with a little salt.

#20 whippy

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 07:23 PM

The first answer you gave me in the PM was different than salt, so perhaps the contest still lives! :P Anyone else up for fun?
I love how yummy food makes me feel happy!!!!!!