Puzzled about bad reviews - guess I'll have to try it again!
Sure the parking is bad, and sure I've seen a couple of rodents by the dumpsters, but it really cracks me up when all these white folk come to the International District and complain about all the white folk in the restaurant as a sure sign of unauthentic Viet food, in the same breath as they complain about the ""trashy"" exterior of the Vietnamese grocer next door and the vermin filled parking lot. You can't have it both ways! Have you been to Viet Nam lately? That is as authentic as it gets folks! Rodents and all, as of this March, when I was last there. And I loved every rodent-infested moment of it! Get a grip.
Being half Vietnamese myself, with a mom who cooks delicious food, I can honestly say that I've had nothing but good, and mostly great, food here. Sure, sometimes there are deviations from ""traditional"" Vietnamese food, but last I checked, we're in Seattle, not Saigon, guys. The green papaya salad is delicious, especially with the lemongrass tofu, as is the bun thit nuong, banh cuon dac biet, and satays.
Regarding the service, yes they are rushed off their feet in the evenings and weekends, and I go into the experience expecting a long wait if I don't make a reservation. But guess what naysayers? You can make a reservation! Online! And choose your table! Wow! How hard is that? I've mostly gotten served promptly, I have yet to see anyone get yelled at while eating here, there is even an American server currently who speaks Vietnamese (cool!), and the restrooms have always been just fine.
My main complaint would be the price of the drinks. They sound delicious, but I usually steer clear because the prices seem pretty steep compared to the price of the food dishes. The lychee drinks are good though!
I honestly wish that all the restaurant snobs and wannabe critics would stop coming and leave the experience more enjoyable for me!