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The latest addition to the Hilton Brothers’ empire, Hanoi House has a sensual bordello vibe paired with authentic northern Vietnamese flavors.  The menu is inspired by Chef James Claudio’s grandma Lap, and is more on target than Gomer Pyle at the rifle range.

Housed in the former Blackbyrd space and finished with bold red walls and black lacquer, this cozy den of iniquity churns out some of the best Vietnamese food you’ll have without digging underground tunnels to Eden Center.

Summer rolls and fried rice.

Start with crispy vegetarian cha gio chay ($6) spring rolls.  Light, crispy, without a hint of excess grease.  Banh mi ($7) is done exactly right on a crusty, chewy French baguette that’s loaded with earthy pâté, fresh cilantro, carrots, a generous spread of Vietnamese mayo and your choice of pork sausage, grilled chicken, beef or pork.  Fried rice ($11) is just sticky and moist enough to soak up all the alcohol when the kitchen closes at last call.

Cocktails by Brendan Murphy of The Gibson include the Arvin Rifle ($8), with coffee, chicory, milk and brandy that is Vietnam’s answer to Red Bull and vodka.  The lighter Silk Road ($10) is a version of milk bubble tea without the bubbles.  Order The Too Beaucoup ($12) just for the f**k of it.  You can handle it.

Hanoi House
2005 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009