Nam An

Nam An is a small Vietnamese restaurant that recently opened up in the same plaza on Convoy Street that contains China Max and the original Spicy City.  A positive review from mmm-yoso regarding the bar food options, along with chatter on yelp that the restaurant makes its own rice noodles, had me quite curious about this new restaurant.

The first thing we noticed after entering was that there were no utensils at the table. Unlike most typical pho places that have a stack of spoons and chopsticks sitting in the middle of each table, here fresh and clean utensils are given to each customer after they order. No more having to wipe down sticky feeling spoons and chopsticks. Yay!

Once seated, we were presented with a menu that offered the typical pho, fried rice and noodle dishes. I had been afraid the prices would be marked up, but the pho bowls were all reasonably priced between $5-6 dollars.  One notable option on the menu was an offering of a chicken soup using free range chickens. No one ordered it on this outing, but I do want to try it sometime.
(I just realized that I only uploaded small versions of the menu. I’ll make sure to update this with larger photos to view for those who want to see the full menu.)
In addition to the regular menu, we were also presented with an appetizer menu with dishes that are not usually offered, such as a snail mango salad.

Based on the server’s recommendations, we ordered the mango snail salad and the rare steak marinated in lemon seasoning.

I liked the sweet and sour flavors in the mango snail salad. The pieces of snail were quite chewy, like eating squid.

I was surprised when the rare steak came out because the beef was definitely not rare. The meat wasn’t even the tiniest bit pink; it was completely cooked. The meat gets cooked by the acid lemon based sauce (at least that’s my understanding from watching episodes of Chopped), but I didn’t expect it to be cooked so thoroughly. I still really enjoyed the flavors of this dish, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.

Cherry Cake

I bought a few too many cherries and decided to bake with some of them. I came across this recipe for a simple cherry cake that looked easy and tasty. I love easy recipes, especially when they involve fruit so that the fruit can really shine through.

An opportunity fell into my lap a few weeks ago that had me practically jumping for joy. I stayed pretty mum about it, not telling anyone other than FH, for fear that it wouldn’t happen.

Now that it has, I wanted to share the news with you. Normally, I might not post something about this here. I always feel awkward with self-promotion. But in this case, since future opportunities depends on maintaining an interested audience, I hope you will check out my first published article in San Diego Magazine, and will continue to check out future pieces I may write.

And lookie here, you get to learn my real name too. ;-)