Best Vietnamese/Cambodian Restaurant
Xyclo Restaurant & Lounge
Ah, the food that comes out of chef Vy Lieou's kitchen. Elegant rice paper rolls as fresh as spring itself; addicting garlicy lime vinaigrette-dressed green been salads worth licking the plate over; artful but messy sesame seed and herb-glazed spicy-sweet chili ribs; tumbling dice of tender, pink filet mignon cubes; Vietnamese carpaccio awash in basil, red onion, cashews, and carmelized shallots. Practically everything on this menu shines, from the spring rolls (the Xyclo Taste sampler is a good option), peanut-hoisin dipping sauces, and salads (the fresh apple salad is one crunchy yummy) to noodle dishes and the small- and large-plate dishes. Even the sticky rice, about the only nod to straight up Vietnamese traditional cookery, is good. This is contemporary Vietnamese cuisine at its finest, geared to speak directly to non-natives. And when they leave Xyclo, they're guaranteed to have something to talk about. Plus this sleek, red-hued restaurant has one of the hippest vibes on Piedmont Avenue.