The road you can’t eat: Bếp Nhà Viet Kitchen, D’Vegan and other restaurants you should know about

Lake Highlands has become a bona fide destination for eaters, Featuring a chef-driven bistro, a brand new Waffle House, and everything in between.

While we appreciate nostalgic staples, edgy cafés and craft cocktail bars, there are plenty of often-overlooked foods for those who want to travel down the lesser-known roads.

A hub of authentic and reliable Asian restaurants is located around the neighborhood on the southwest corner of Walnut Street and Odelia.

A pair of virtually life-sized parking lot giraffes point to Bistro B, the epicenter of this dining universe. This Asian fusion venue is the complete opposite of a hole-in-the-wall (loud, big, and shiny for days). As owner Michael Dunn says, “It’s like a nightclub!”

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The menu is extensive, with chapters on hot pot, pho, vegetarian, Chinese, banh mi, rice combos, desserts and drinks (coffee, tea, smoothies, ice cream shakes, shaved ice, gelatine, puddings, etc.).

Bistro B has a handful of owners in its orbit. Their surface doesn’t shine as brightly, but they offer equally interesting dishes and backstories.

Beto Kitchens Kitchen

A recent addition to the shopping center is Bếp Nhà Viet Kitchen. The owner, Huong Ngongo, said she worked at Pho 95 (where she used to share the same suite) and was a close friend of the owner.

Last year she bought a restaurant, rebranded and renovated it.

The new interior is bright, clean, and spacious, with wood-paneled counters, modern cafe tables, and healthy green vines hanging from shelves. For those inspired by Bistro B’s dazzling atmosphere, Vapunya is a panacea.

Ngongo says the shopping center’s proximity to Texas Instruments and Richland College makes it perfect for small businesses like hers. “We have many loyal customers from both,” she says.

She also updated the menu with deep-fried whole Cornish chicken, classics like pho and vermicelli bowls, and beautiful drinks like lychee rose tea and kiwi soda with mint, flowers and fruit.

Her customer’s favorite menu item, she says, is the yellow noodle dish.

“Made the way it’s made in Da Nang (Vietnam), where my husband is from.”

snow tofu

Kelly Pham — at the counter of a small deli called Tuyết Tofu — Moved to Dallas in 1992 with his father, mother and six siblings.

“My parents came here from a third world country for zero dollars to make the American dream come true,” Pham says. Odelia Center.

Kelly, the second child, remembers all the siblings sharing a room, Dad going to work every day, and Mom staying home and cooking. Tofu played a big role in Mom’s kitchen. “It’s wholesome and she made enough to share throughout the apartment complex,” says Kelly.

As Kelly puts it, Tuyet Tofu was the Pham family’s “first baby.” Her parents are retired, but she says she’s still in the store six days a week.

Visiting Tuyết Tofu, you will find different forms of soybeans. Lightly fried tofu, tofu marinated in chopped lemongrass and chili, skins folded in plastic wrap for egg rolls, and sticky rice that’s as appealing as tofu.

“We make a lot of rice cakes, especially during Vietnamese New Year,” she says. Depending on the season, it can mean sticky rice around pork, red beans, or other meats and vegetables. increase.

Other products are endless and diverse. One couple waiting to order said they don’t always know what to expect here. They say embrace that unpredictability. All the food around here — La’ Me, D’Vegan, Bếp Nhà (and desserts served at the counter inside Hong Hong Market, which “has the best shaved ice imaginable”) are all authentic. A gift for the neighbors, they say.

theme

The Pham family’s second Walnut Street restaurant, La’ Me, is well known outside the neighborhood for its high-quality banh mi (Vietnamese) made from airy baguettes. Fresh pickled cucumber, perhaps a smear of chili sauce, tofu or pork. There are also about eight varieties of pho, a popular noodle and vegetable soup. Their kho dac bien noodle dish is served with soup on the side. This gives you the choice of enjoying it as a soup or during the Texas summer as a soup.

Like its neighbors, La’ Me’s menu is extensive, offering new culinary adventures with every turn. After sifting through traveler and local reviews, favorites include smashed rice, bun mam (a fish and shallot dish), bun dau mam tom (a combination plate of various seafood and vegetables), and bun cha ha ( grilled pork and noodles).

Many in Dallas turn to Femmes Restaurant (which also owns the Forte Do in Richardson) for food that reminds them of the flavors of cultures at home and far. Kelly then says the family works hard and appreciates both neighborhood businesses and loyal patrons “like family.”

vegan

Tucked away in the Walnut Street Hong Hong Market that supports the center is a haven for non-animal eaters (or for those who eat animals, don’t mind a diet of soy, nuts and beans for protein). It’s a paradise.

“Peace?” you may ask. These are the words that come to mind when reading D’Vegan’s “Alternative Living” pamphlet. One of his cartoon pigs with a speech bubble that says “I love you” and an animated hen with a chick saying “We want for you.”

D’Vegan’s bun cao lau vermicelli noodle soup is a vegan alternative to chicken soup pho. There are plenty of noodles, mushrooms, tomatoes, mint, coriander and pineapple. Kung Pao chicks – for that matter, all man-made meat made from soybeans – are tender and flavorful. Pleases the senses.

Bun bi cha, crunchy rice vermicelli, Served with flavorful crispy shredded tofu, pickled carrots and a homemade oil-based light spice sauce. And don’t leave without a few bags of vegan jerky available at the counter. D’Vegan has been around for at least 10 years, so it’s reliable and can’t go wrong. Settle into a comfortable booth or take a box with you.

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