For over two decades, celebs and yuppies have been rubbing elbows inside this elegantly tropical spot, where banquette seating, wallpaper with palm fronds and dim lighting attempt to recreate colonial Hanoi. So does the menu, starring French-Vietnamese specialties like pho and filet mignon carpaccio; a rich Vietnamese bouillabaisse brings the two worlds together. The pièce de résistance is the sumptuous amok Cambodgien, coconut-flavored fillet of sole wrapped in a banana leaf. Rice comes separately—order the house version with shrimp—while the strikingly presented Asian pear wontons make the best finale. Even with a reservation, however, be prepared to wait.
430 Lafayette St
|Cross street:||between Astor Pl and E 4th St|
|Opening hours:||Mon, Sun 5:30–11:30pm; Tue–Sat 5:30pm–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: B, D, F, M to Broadway-Lafayette St; N, R to 8th St–NYU; 6 to Astor Pl|
|Price:||Average main course: $22. AmEx, DC, MC, V|