Nam Vang

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Hu tieu is one of those famously loved Vietnamese dishes.  Nam Vang is one of the more popular restaurants in San Jose to devour this nostalgic dish.  Although the menu has a good number of options, everyone in this restaurant is only eating this one dish.  

The housemade pickled peppers are on the sweet and spicy side, the flavor resembling pepperoncinis.

This is the first time I've had hu tieu.  I have many a friend swoon over this dish that made me curious to what the big deal is about this dish.  Like many noodle dishes, you can get this both wet (as a soup) or dry (soup on the side).  The most popular version of this is to order it dry.  Slices of pork, chicken, shrimp, and fish sit atop a heap of thin rice noodles with squirts of a "special sauce".  First of all the noodles here are really clumpy.  A couple spoonfuls of soup and some stirring action helps to distribute the sauce all over the noodles.  Many people have proclaimed love for this sauce, but I found that it was just an ordinary mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, and some sugar, something that I often make for myself when I buy rice noodles in the store.  All the meats were fresh and well prepared and the dish was tasty and filling, but I didn't find it to be swoonworthy.   

The soup on the side also includes a beef bone with tender meat to pick at.  Apparently, its popular to eat this broth with a Chinese donut (yau tiu), which I find to be intriguing since I've never dunked one in anything but a rice porridge or soy milk.  Unfortunately, even though I ate this dish around lunchtime, they ran out of the Chinese donut so I wasn't able to feed my amusement for this practice.

The fresh veggie plate includes slices of chives, beansprouts, parsley, and lime wedges.
Its popular to eat the meatball dish with the hu tieu.  Its commonly called a siu mai, which I don't find to be similar to at all.  Its reminds me more like the steamed giant meatballs (ngau yuk kau) at dim sum.  Oddly, its not on the menu so make sure you just tell the waiter you want the meatball.

Address:                    Nam Vang
                                   2477 Alvin Ave.
                                   San Jose, CA
Type:                          Vietnamese/soup

Popular chomps:        Hu Tieu (dry)
                                    Chinese donut
Chomp worthy:           Hu Tieu (dry)

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