If you’re looking for a place with great food that’s fresh and delicious I have a suggestion for you…
Zagat named Mot Hai Ba one of it’s 25 Most Important Restaurants in 2013 and I have eaten here several times since. It’s always delightful.
Mot Hai Ba is North Vietnamese cuisine, inspired by a motorcycle adventure owners Jeana Johnson and Colleen O’Hare took. Their website says “Jeana and Colleen decided they would do everything they could to honor the food of North Vietnam back home by opening a straightforward little restaurant serving the dishes they loved most.”
Although I’ve never been to Vietnam, I think that’s pretty much what you get here.
Almost everything is served with mountains of fresh herbs and greens, which I love. My favorite starter is the sizzling shrimp cake with sprouts, scallion, lettuce & herb…it’s so delicious I’m always tempted to order it for an entree.
On this visit I tried the banana flower with chicken, peanut, green leaf, cucumber and crispy shallot salad…
I may like it better than the green papaya with carrot, sprouts, house jerky and herbs I usually order.
Their shaking beef with soy vinaigrette, red onion, tomato and watercress is what I would order if I preferred beef, but I was in the mood for fish so I had the whole fish with celery, peppers and scallions.
Bread pudding at a North Vietnamese restaurant? Yes, and this one may be among the best I’ve ever tasted!
The little patio outside always reminds me of a neighborhood place you might find in San Francisco.
If you live in the Lakewood area and are lucky enough to be able to order on your way home from work for take-out I envy you, but otherwise Mot Hai Ba is definitely worth the short drive.