Provided by Citysearch
This restaurant is in my neighborhood, so I was anxious to try their food. I LOVE Vietnamese food, and after relocating from Hawaii, where good Vietnamese food is easy to find, the only place I really had enjoyed was Nine Roses on the West Bank. I took a stroll over to the Basil Leaf a few weeks ago, and while I was encouraged by the gracious enthusiasm of our server - the food itself fell far short of the mark. First of all, there was not a fresh basil leaf (or any other herb, for that matter) in sight!\r \r The food was under flavored, boiled, over (or under) cooked and just generally yucky. I ordered the ""Laab"" first, because it is one of my favorite dishes - usually full of fresh herbs and chilies and topped with toasted ground rice. This boring version was practically inedible - I asked for fresh lime and hot chili paste and fish sauce to try and coax out some flavor, but the absence of fresh herbs (or toasted rice) made it impossible to acheive. We also tried that evening's special - something with coconut and eggplant (undercooked) and served in a half coconut shell. It was just awful - we took one bite and that was enough.\r \r Our waiter, who was so terrific at the beginning, never returned to the table once our order was placed. He wasn't busy helping other diners - he was just lurking in the back. A very polite non-English speaking busser (not Vietnamese) dropped off the check. \r \r I will never go back and I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone, ever.\r \r I am so surprised that this restaurant has ever won ""Best of"" anything. Maybe it used to be good?