When Nam An first opened, it was a refreshing new Vietnamese restaurant offering. I was enamored with the weekend special appetizers, bouncy noodles, late hours, and complimentary dessert.
It’s been a while since we’ve been back but I’ve heard that the quality has gone downhill. We went in for dinner on a Saturday night, as I was craving something nourishing, and Nam An offers a free range chicken pho. We were surprised to find the place absolutely deserted, with only one other table occupied.
Surf Clam Salad
I loved the spicy kick and the acidity of the dish. I just wish there were more surf clam pieces. Instead, the dish was littered with too much cilantro.
Filet Mignon Shaking Beef
This was much better. The beef cubes were extremely tender.
Free Range Chicken Pho
This comes with all the chicken organs, unless you request for them not to be included. My mom made us eat all the organs as a kid so I don’t mind eating them.
There were quite a few chicken pieces in the pho. The chicken was light with a hint of subtle sweetness. A ginger sauce accompanied the soup to dip the chicken pieces in for additional flavor, though the ginger sauce was a little weak.
That’s where the good ended for my bowl of soup though. The chicken broth was too light, and tasted overly sweet once it had cooled. The once fresh house made noodles were overcooked and mushy.
Seafood stir fried noodles
It was immediately apparent that the noodles were overcooked because they arrived broken up instead of in long strands. I also thought the dish was over seasoned with black pepper. While this was still the best of the bunch, it wasn’t nearly as good as the versions we previously had. For comparison, here was a previous version we ordered months ago:
I didn’t really sample the rest of the dishes, but here they are:
Beef stir fried noodles
Dinner still came with complimentary tapioca dessert.
Service was still pretty good, but overall, we left pretty disappointed with the food. It seems like Nam An is only a shell of what it once was and I wonder how much longer it will be open. You can read my previous post here with pictures of the menu. You can also read accounts from Nam An’s early days from mmm-yoso and Pink Candles of Ridgemont High.
4690 Convoy St Ste 111
San Diego, CA 92111