Bon Vivant's written and pictorial diary of her culinary adventures that will amuse and excite your virtual taste buds...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vietnamese Soycafe - A Hidden Gem in Silver Lake

If you race up and down Hyperion in order to hit the green light at Lyric (or Fountain, as the case may be) you might miss the lilliputian Vietnamese Soycafe. If you are a true foodie, you’ll see a glimpse of it out of the corner of your eye. The first thing that you’ll notice is that it is not open on Fridays and Saturdays. This piques your interest.

You finally go there one Sunday morning after being intrigued by the limited but unique menu that you happen to look at through the window one Saturday when the pet food store was not yet open and you needed to kill some time, so you walked up the block to check this quirky place out.

Below, a cup of cinnamon soymilk:

If you usually buy your soymilk at Trader Joe’s you have not had soymilk until you’ve had it at the Vietnamese Soycafe. Viet, the warm and personable owner, makes the organic soymilk in house. Other flavors include black sesame, mint, and yerba mate. It’s a better deal to buy a quart and share it with someone – you’ll end up with twice as much for about the same price.

Below, a double Vietnamese coffee – you are in heaven.

Below, the jicama fresh rolls:

These are wonderful. You cannot eat the peanut sauce with which they are served (or you’ll take a trip to migraineville) but it doesn’t matter; the texture is perfect and the minimalist flavors blend so well together.

Below, the overwhelmingly popular lemongrass chicken banh mi:

You pledge that next time you’ll order the green onion and sardine banh mi. There is also a vegetarian option: the shitake mushroom and tofu.

Below, two views of the Sunday special bun with tumeric whitefish:

You’ve heard about this dish through the foodie grapevine, and you purposely came here on a Sunday just to get it. It surpasses all of your expectations; it’s so simple and lovely. You’ve declared this the best dish in LA County since the late Kuala Lumpur’s wonton laksa.

Below, the soyskin mushroom bun and the soynugs:

On a health kick? You’ll have to try the “C Shot” – Viet’s upscale version of the uber-cleansing detox libation of lemon juice and cayenne pepper.

Vietnamese Soycafe
1997 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

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Blogger sku said...

How do I not know about this place? As usual, BV, your posts make my mouth water...and the thought of great Vietnamese without driving 45 minutes north or south is tantalizing, to say the least. Thanks!

9:15 AM

Anonymous The Cooking Ninja said...

mmm...yummy ... the dishes looks so good. The peanut sauce...did they put a lot of MSG in it? My other half once had a spicy soup in a Thai restaurant in LA and half an hour later had migraine so bad that he just want to bang his head against the wall to make it stop or to jump off a building. We think that soup was heavily laced with MSG. He took all sorts of painkiller even super powerful migraine medicine doesn't work. He felt as if his head is going to explode with pain for hours. I had to rub some Asian ointment and massage his head for hours. Finally the pain subside. Thank goodness for that.

4:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say- I love your blog!! I live in Santa Monica and I really dig every place you feature. Also, you posts are so detailed and well written and have wonderful pictures!! Please please keep it up!!

12:19 PM

Anonymous Raven said...

This place sounds great! And I love that it's not ridiculously far away!

2:28 PM

Blogger Bon Vivant said...

Sku: This is a great place and it's just blocks from the Cheesestore!

Cooking Ninja: I don't think that Viet uses any MSG in his cooking. Peanuts alone give me migraines (as well as MSG! I have to be very careful at most Vietnamese places.)

Anon: Thanks for stopping by my blog! I appreciate your kind words.

Raven: You would LOVE this place.

5:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw your review on Chowhound, and went for lunch today - it was amazing! I'm going back soon.
(and cooking ninja - I have a very strong reaction to MSG, which did not happen here).
I'm glad I discovered your blog, you've given me some great ideas for eating out!

5:00 PM

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