There are moments in life when you say “yes” to something without any second thought or hesitation. When your coworker suggests moving your upcoming meeting from a conference room to the ice cream shop around the corner, you say yes. Or when your upstairs neighbor offers to give you her wifi password in exchange for watching her dog for a weekend, you do it (very quickly). And when someone asks you whether you’d like to have a meal at Le Fat, we’d recommend reacting similarly: don’t think twice about it.
This Westside spot is located on the ground floor of a nondescript apartment building and you could easily walk by Le Fat without ever realizing what it was. Besides a few cafe tables out front and some bright pink neon signage on the wall, there isn’t a whole lot to go off of. Inside, however, you’ll find some of the best Vietnamese food in the city.
The menu covers a lot of ground and includes a few Chinese and French dishes (hence the name), like wontons and escargot, in addition to Vietnamese classics like pho, vermicelli bowls, and banh mi sandwiches. Whatever you do, make sure to try the drunken noodles and their excellent spicy green beans. They’re crunchy, come topped with a mildly spicy and sweet sauce and ground pork, and on a list of things you should be saying “yes” to here, this dish is somewhere near the top.
Between the long wooden bar, lots of small tables, and the restaurant’s great natural light, Le Fat is an ideal spot for a second or third date when you want to make an entire night out of dinner and a few drinks. Or you can come for lunch, drink a Vietnamese coffee outside, and wonder what took you so long to come here in the first place.
Every meal here should start with the summer rolls, which come in an order of two and are stuffed with shrimp, pork, and vermicelli.
The pork belly bao at Le Fat is super straightforward and basically perfect. It’s filled with pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, jalapeno, and a big slab of our favorite pork belly in the city.
When your favorite thing on the menu ends up being the plate of green beans, it doesn’t mean everything else isn’t very good, it just means that this dish of green beans is really f*cking good.
This pho broth is incredibly flavorful, and the brisket and flank steak in it are pretty great too. You get a side plate with all the spicy sauces and garnishes too, so you can customize it to be as bold and spicy, or not, as you want.
If you’re going pho-free for whatever reason, this is the noodle dish to get. It includes big squares of chewy rice noodles with slices of beef, bean sprouts, and scallions.