Le Soleil

Liz Hafalia

Le Soleil

By Sean Timberlake

In a city whose dining scene is famously mercurial, it’s comforting to visit a classic mainstay that keeps true to its roots. In the heart of the multiculti dining scene in the Inner Richmond, Le Soleil has been turning out the classic flavors of Vietnam since well before it became trendy. Think light yet substantial (and veggie-friendly) fresh spring rolls or crisp imperial rolls of pork and mushroom, both brightened with a dip in fish sauce; or a crunchy green papaya salad in a tangy tamarind dressing. Can’t decide which starters to try? Ask the kitchen for a sampler to broaden your palate. Delicate, tender chunks of filet mignon, barely seared and awakened with a splash of lemon-pepper sauce, elevate the old-school shaken beef. The carefully selected list of crisp whites and light-bodied reds complement the complex flavors of Southeast Asia perfectly. For the finale, East meets West in the dessert menu, with equal parts classic French (crème caramel, crème brûlée) and nouveau Vietnamese (fried banana rolls).

... on the side

eye for design
The interior is warm and understated with dark wood accents. The whimsical mosaics of abacuses on the wall add a playful element.

the crowd
This is a local’s restaurant, and the place packs with regulars who have been enjoying their taste of Hanoi here for decades.

overheard
“I'm meeting someone else here for another meal later, so I’m pacing myself.”

decibels
Medium

hours

lunch: Wed–Mon 11:30 AM–3 PM
dinner: Wed–Mon 5 PM–10 PM
Closed Tuesday

price range

$11 to 32
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