Opening tomorrow right around the corner from Nobu, Mai House (from Nieporent and friends) brings some serious Vietnamese cuisine from chef Michael Huynh of the beloved Bao Noodles. This time he skips on the pho, though, to bring a little more meat (and, of course, some carved Buddha statues) to the table.
The space feels like an airy, modern Saigon loft, complete with ornate carved rosewood paneling, and the (lovely and important) pearl-and-bamboo butcher block bar, which keeps the Viet-influenced drinks coming. The excellent Tiger Tail with Thai chiles and Buddha's Eye with Tanqueray and basil, along with authentic Vietnamese brews like 33 and Halida, may have you seriously considering a liquid meal, Hanoi-style.
The food, though, shouldn't be missed. After all, you can't go too wrong when husband and wife cook together (yes, it's adorable) in the open kitchen. If you've been hankering for lemongrass lately, the gleaming dishes won't disappoint—the Duck Leg Confit with pomegranate dressing will have you licking down every last bit, and the tender Wok Seared Filet with taro puree is, in a word, delectable.
Apparently Mai House is a very, very, very fine house.