Whether you're hungry for traditional Vietnamese noodle shop fare or interested in tasting something a little different from the Vietnamese cookbook, a pair of Uptown restaurants now under development may have you covered.
Magasin Vietnamese Cafe is taking shape at 4201 Magazine St., and it will serve what its owner describes as a combination of "home-style family cooking" with French influences and a large array of made-to-order spring rolls. Meanwhile at 2005 Magazine St., a new eatery called Pho Noi Viet will serve a traditional Vietnamese noodle house menu, with staples like pho, banh mi sandwiches, bun noodle salads and, of course, more spring rolls. These are independent ventures, and each is tentatively slated to open sometime in October.
Magasin, located in the former corner grocery, takes its name from the French word for "store." It's being developed by Kim Nguyen, a New Orleans native who runs a pair of traditional Vietnamese restaurants in Houston. For Magasin, which will be her restaurant debut in her hometown, she's taking a different approach.
"I'm stepping a little bit away from the traditional here and bringing in more French influences, though there will still be fundamental (dishes) that people want too," Nguyen says.
One particular specialty will be a roster of 15 spring rolls prepared to order in a sushi bar style of service.
Renovation work is also underway at Pho Noi Viet, a family-run restaurant from Kim and Vinh Vu. Although this will be the couple's first restaurant, Kim Vu's cooking may be familiar to those who have sipped late-night pho in the Marigny.
Last year, Vu was part of the team that opened Pho King, a Vietnamese restaurant inside the Lost Love Lounge (2529 Dauphine St., 949-2009; www.lostlovelounge.com). The owners of that bar later took over Pho King and now run it simply as "the Vietnamese Kitchen at the Lost Love Lounge."
Vinh Vu explains that the plan for Pho Noi Viet came about after he and his wife saw how popular Vietnamese food had become around New Orleans.
"We want to have our own place and really show our cooking," he said. — McNulty