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Saigon on Fifth

The Broadway Pier is in downtown San Diego, near the USS Midway Museum.
Saigon on Fifth
Courtesy Photo

One of the great things about San Diego is the diversity of the city and the variety of cuisine. That said, make your way to Saigon On Fifth, appropriately named as it resides on 5th Avenue just off of trendy University Avenue in spunky Hillcrest. Discreet from the street, once you enter the restaurant you realize they have saved their personality for the interior. Classic, spacious and eternally charming, matched only by the quiet elegance of the staff.

Four of us gathered to catch up on our lives and venture into exquisite Vietnamese cuisine. We started the evening with a charming Chilean red wine and we wound up sipping two bottles. One of our party was vegetarian, so for our appetizer we decided to share a modified version of their fresh spring rolls (with no oil and low carb, lettuce, rice noodle vermicelli, mint and instead of a meat, we added tofu). We all thoroughly enjoyed the dish and with the accompanying peanut sauce, it was scrumptious.

We moved on to our entrees and enjoyed a varied array of dishes which we eagerly shared. Three of us ordered from their "Classic Entrees" selections (you know you can’t go wrong with a classic) and our vegetarian friend, had numerous choices. An order of Mix Vegetables (mixture of selected vegetables and herbs, sautéed in special brown sauce) was brought with Red Curry chicken (red curry paste, coconut milk, bamboo shoots, bell pepper, lemon grass, basil leaf). Accompanying them was Cashew Nuts (unique pungent bean sauce, sautéed caramelized with cashew nuts) and the Saigon Love Boat (seafood combination infused with lemon leaf, Vietnamese herbs wrapped in banana leaf, grilled to perfection), which it clearly was.

The four dishes offered their eager recipients a chance to marvel in the nuances of another cultures culinary delights. Some were spicy (well, okay, most of them, but spice is the love of life, right?) but all contained extravagant flavors that are a rarity to match. The décor and service were discreet and effortless. The servings, excellent. So if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary (and come one, life is too short, live a little) take a trip to Saigon and revel in its splendid cuisine. Enjoy!

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  • City: San Diego, CA 92103
  • Phone: (619) 220-8828
  • Name: Saigon on Fifth
  • Address: 3900 5th Avenue