Best Vietnamese Restaurant Not In Little Saigon - 2009
Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen
No self-respecting Vietnamese or anyone with even remedial knowledge of Little Saigon would ever pay $8.95 for a bowl of pho. And we don't suggest you do so, either, even if Benley is the restaurant offering it. But that doesn't mean we don't love this place. Cut from the same culinary cloth as LA's Crustacean and San Francisco's Slanted Door, Benley does modern Vietnamese—except it's actually good. We cringe that they choose to call their rice porridge "Vietnamese risotto," but it's damned satisfying, with sautéed mushrooms and a chickeny essence in every starchy, warm spoonful. If you're stuck on getting some pho for cheap, go elsewhere (our Best Pho winner, perhaps). Now excuse us while we order another of Benley's sublime braised short ribs on pureed avocado.