Young and Hungry

The Sounds of Slurping: Get Ready for D.C. Noodle Shops

It's long been a truism that if you wanted good (or even decent) pho or ramen or soba soups, you had to drive to the 'burbs, whether Falls Church or Rockville, to get your fill. But there's been encouraging news lately for Washingtonians who want to stay closer to home for noodle soups.

First up is Saigon Bistro, an inviting Vietnamese shop that recently opened in the old Fractured Prune spot on P Street NW off Dupont Circle.  According to the restaurant's Web site, it is owned by "Luna Howard, a native Washingtonian and entrepreneur, and her relatives, who recently emigrated to the U.S. after running an exquisite Vietnamese gourmet restaurant in their native homeland." Aside from the usual Vietnamese options, Saigon is serving up not only pho but also hu tieu and mi soups.

Next on the horizon appears to be Pho 14, a Vietnamese noodle shop on Park Road NW in Columbia Heights. But now comes the word, via the Washington Business Journal, that London-based Wagamama will open one of its pan-Asian noodle shops in the former Olsson's Books & Records location on Seventh Street NW in Penn Quarter. Wagamama is aiming for a 2010 opening.

Don't know about you, but I'm ready to start slurpin'.

  • J

    Tried this place over the weekend and loved every bite of it. Really nice staff and it was actually busy! The fractured prune never stood a chance in this long cursed spot. Good luck to these guys!

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  • Dawn

    I went here a little while ago and I was VERY excited about a Vietnamese-Pho place opening up. I come from a Vietnamese family and I need a pho fix every once and a while. I took a group of friends here and the staff was nice, the place was very clean, but I was not impressed by the food. I love how they don't use MSG, but they need to get their food together. We ordered beef pho and one of us ordered crispy egg noodles with seafood stir fry. The pho came in these cute, but small bowls. The broth was sweet from too much sugar and the noodles weren't cooked enough. It was a little below mediocre, but still edible. The crispy egg noodles were fried right, but the stir fry was so salty and hard to eat. Saigon Bistro is in a great spot, near the metro, nice staff, but the food was just not that great. I was very disappointed. I hope they tweak out their recipes and do well in the long run.