I've neglected for several months to comment about a new restaurant in the East Village that's easy to miss with all the excitement and clamor across the street at Zombie Burger + Drink Lab. Located inside East Village Sqaure on the Grand Ave. side, Mekong at East Village is a quaint little Vietnamese restaurant and gift shop that I stumbled upon on one of my afternoon walks to Gong Fu Tea.
On that first visit, I took the opportunity to enjoy a Cafe Sua Da (Vietnamese coffee), which pairs strong French press coffee with a healthy dose of condensed milk. Sweet, rich, and highly caffeinated, Cafe Sua Da is a bold drink that will jump start your day no matter what the hour may be.
The interior of Mekong is rather homey, with an eclectic arrangement of chairs and tables competing for space amongst shelves of bric-à-brac and walls festooned with family portraits.
The menu at Mekong is quite extensive, offering soups, pastries, appetizers, coffee, teas, salads, lunch boxes, and a variety of Vietnamese main courses. On my next visit I was quite taken with a specialty of the house: Bacon Rangoon. I'm not one to jump on the bacon fusion bandwagon easily, but these Rangoon were delightful! Crisp, golden, sweet, savory, and served with a sweet chili sauce. The flavors of sweetened cream cheese and bacon reminded me at times of a grilled PB&J. A good Rangoon fix for those with shellfish allergies, and the best Rangoon I've had in ages.