Monday, July 16, 2012

Le Colonial

Le Colonial is a true find! It's located in an alley in downtown SF and this weekend we experienced the excellent French-Vietnamese food they’re famous for. Le Colonial is in the building that used to be the famed Trader Vic’s Restaurant on Cosmo Alley. The inner courtyard, which once housed legendary Trader Vic’s, has been transformed into an oasis featuring mosaic-like tile flooring, a vaulted, pressed-tin ceiling, tropical plants and plush rattan furniture accented by extensive candlelight. It’s an exotic beautiful space.

Upstairs Lounge
We began upstairs in the lounge that over looks Cosmo Alley. It has beautiful seating, whirling fans and strong, tasty drinks. We had the signature Le Colonial, a vodka-passionfruit puree, and a Viet Gimlet, a strong vodka-cucumber gimlet. Good drinks in wonderful surroundings.

Le Colonial advertises itself as French-Vietnamese and that it is. The tastes, preparation, and ingredients are all Vietnamese but the way in which the items are combined and put together has a new style with a modern french touch. This food is exceptional.

Patio Dining
From the lounge, we moved down to the the beautifully decorated outdoor patio and experienced fabulous service! Patient, quick, always-watching, they knew when to refill our water glasses and when we were ready for the main course instantaneously. The servers were nice, friendly, and patient.

The sommelier recommended a light french Pinot Noir which went perfectly with the French Vietnamese food. It turned out to be a nice change compared to the Reisling
we usually have with asian food.

Thit Kho Chien
For starters we began with Thit Kho Chien, a wonderful twice baked pork belly, savory pear, truffle oil and and quail egg on top. Another starter was Banh Xeo,a crispy crepe filled with lobster and shrimp. Hmm good!

Banh Xeo

Bo Luc Lac
Moving on to main dish, we had Bo Luc Lac. A wok seared Filet Mignon with garlic-soy sauce, pickled red onions and shoestring potatoes. Steak so tender you can cut it with a fork. 
Side dishes were Xu Bruxelles, sweet chili Nuoc Cham glazed brussels sprouts and portobello mushrooms that tasted great along with Com Dua, coconut rice which hit the spot too.

Xu Bruxelles with sweet chili Nuoc Cham glaze
Le Colonial is a favorite. The food is out of this world, a fantastic blend of French and Vietnamese. The mixed drinks decadently delicious and not skimped on in the least. There’s also an extensive wine list filled with top choices that will pair perfectly with your meal. You get what you pay for here… top notch French Vietnamese cuisine served with flair in an atmosphere that captures the essence of French colonized Vietnam and the modern world… 

Highly recommended!

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