On the North side of 23rd St., down the street from Naismith Hall, sits a tiny nail salon. Connected to the nail salon is an inconspicuous restaurant that can’t possibly sit more than 15 patrons. It is hard to notice when driving by if your eye is not trained for its quaint sign, however from your first taste of a dish from Little Saigon you will ask yourself how you had ever overlooked it.
Little Saigon is a Vietnamese restaurant, but to repeat customers it is more than that. Since its only location is in Lawrence the atmosphere inside is always welcoming; it feels similar to walking into a friend’s house for dinner.
Every day, except for Sunday when it is closed, there is a special that gets posted on Facebook. The daily specials range from roasted duck to pork spare ribs served over rice with a sunny-side-up egg. The special is available until the item is sold out which usually happens before 3 p.m.
While every item on the menu is prepared with the same enthusiasm by Steve, the friendly owner, the most distinguished item on the menu is the Pho. This soup is served with many different options such as beef, chicken or seafood. The broth is light and filling at the same time and goes just as well with a cold winter night as is it does with a hot summer day.
Some of the other stand-out meals are the Lo Mein Noodles and the Bun. The Bun is a perfect option for lunch; it can be served with chicken, beef or pork and sliced carrots, lettuce, nuts with a cut up egg roll on top. The dish is accompanied by a flavorful fish sauce that is to be poured over the top. The menu’s diversity coupled with the generous portion sizes help make Little Saigon one of the top Asian cuisine restaurants in Lawrence.