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Published November 26, 2012

Pho Finish
Late-Night Pho Comes to 14th and U

U Street. It can be a little intense. A reggae dance hall here. A whiskey-fueled roadhouse there. And that’s just Eric Hilton’s places.

What you need: an unexpected respite. Maybe something Southeast Asian. Filtered through the lens of France.

Fortunately, Hilton and his partners were thinking the same thing.

So get ready to welcome Hanoi House, opening tomorrow in the former Blackbyrd space to teleport you to the French colonial era of Vietnam.

You might recognize the mural of Obama posters behind the host desk. But not much else. The American-industrial thing has yielded to red curtains over the bar, gilded mirrors on the walls and dark red and black walls like something off a White Stripes stage. Oh, and that’s Martin Sheen at the bar, clutching his bowl of pho with a faraway look in his eyes.

Okay, probably not, but if he were there, you could see him. The whole place—like the Gibson a couple doors down—has gone sit-down only. They even take reservations, and they take ’em late.

So stroll in here with a date, grab a booth and start saying some interesting things over the eclectic music curated by Hilton. And nothing goes with your interesting-things conversation quite like char-grilled pork with vermicelli, pho cooked overnight and banana fritters flambé.

You love the smell of flambéed bananas in the morning.
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