Kim Son has been our favorite "comfort food" spot for years, and it just keeps getting better. It's a family owned-business and the food is consistently fresh and delicious. The place is spotless, warm and cheery with a bit of a diner quality. But it also exudes a subtle French and Asian Vietnamese ambiance, from the delicate lace tablecloths and curtains to the subtropical flowers and bamboo lantern sconces. Every dish is beautifully presented and many are accompanied by fresh plates of crisp lettuce, julienned carrots and turnips, perfect bean sprouts, slices of lime, and large sprigs of Vietnamese basil. These get added by the diner to various soups and other dishes. One of the standards on the menu is a very good selection of pho or noodle soup (12 kinds on the menu - my favorite is pho tai with rare roast beef) . There are big selections of other dishes served with rice, vermicelli, or fried rice. An entire section of the menu is devoted to bamboo steamer meals. And there are 15 house specialties on the menu. My favorites are the dishes that come with skewers of grilled meat or shrimp wrapped around sugar cane, plates of vermicelli and vegetables, and a pile of super-thin rice paper that the eater dips into a hot bowl of water at the table and then fills with the other ingredients to construct spring rolls. Another unexpected pleasure is the special #40, fresh thick rice noodles that look like small accordion-folded clouds, arranged on a plate with crisp fried tofu,rich bean cakes, piles of salad veggies and a special ginger sauce. For the sweet tooth, there are about 30 flavors of bubble tea (total fun!) and the desserts are homemade. They brought us a free piece of coconut flan pie last time we ate there. Most of the dishes on the menu are under $10 and portions are very generous. There's beer and wine, too. And once you've been there, when you return you're welcomed like family.
Dunno about the Triangle as a whole, but this is certainly the best Vietnamese in Raleigh. And the prices are very reasonable along with big portions. Love it!
Noodle bowl was good, but the pork was very fatty. Liked the Pho bar to choose your own veggies--green onions, basil, lettue, bean sprouts. Fish sauce was good, especially once spiced up. Fresh spring rolls were very disappointing--the pork was only boiled and had a strange taste. Didn't serve beer, also disappointing. Decor was not welcoming. Dirty--vinly table cloth hadn't been wiped off recently. Had children of the family bothering us while trying to eat and converse. Asked if we wanted Chinese or Vietnamese when we entered, strange, but maybe they get a lot of people looking for Chinese.
Great fresh spring rolls and good beer. Crispy spring rolls were greasy and lacked taste. Didn't have any mint...odd. Ok, but likely wouldn't go back.
One of the better Vietnamese restaurants in the Triangle...small menu.
I'm not sure why this place gets "Best of the Triangle"--yes, the food is traditional Vietnamese, but the flavors are sub par as is the quality. Though they have an extensive menu, it would be better to focus on fewer items and improve the quality and taste. The Triangle overall seems to be lacking in superior traditional Vietnamese with all the right qualities.
The Seafood Pho is the best soup that I have ever had. It is great and I would recommend it to any and everyone.
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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