Le Colonial Review
The scene is high-style (and high-priced) Vietnamese food served up in a French-colonial time machine: stamped-tin ceiling, period photographs, slow-moving fans, and tropical plants. Local society types who can't be bothered with dining in Little Saigon in the Tenderloin come for the sea bass steamed in banana leaves, green-papaya salad, and lamb chops with grilled-eggplant salad. Pick from among the big selection of fried or fresh appetizer rolls, filled with everything from shredded duck to Dungeness crab. Downstairs are two large and rather formal dining rooms. Anything goes upstairs in the lively lounge: you can eat appetizers, you can move to the music (Friday and Saturday is when it gets hopping) and listen to live music Monday through Thursday (Sundays there is a pianist), or you can just sip a cocktail at the bar and take in the scene. Plenty of locals find the dining room stuffy—and expensive—but are quick to defend the lounge.
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