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District 6 brings a taste of Vietnam to St. Matthews

by Robin Garr » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:12 am

District 6 brings a taste of Vietnam to St. Matthews

Tofu and avocado Banh Mi at District 6.
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If you think “District 6” is an odd name for a Vietnamese restaurant, think again. This moniker honors the heritage of its owners, Hanh Duong, Tram Thai, and Vinh Thai, whose parents hail originally from the District 6 neighborhood in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, formerly known as Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh City’s District 6 is part of the city’s Chinatown, loaded with Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese restaurants and bars as well as a huge flower market, Buddhist pagodas, and craft stores offering iconic conical nón lá bamboo palm leaf hats.

The restaurant picks up some of that vibe in its decor: nón lá hats line a wall; abundantly filled flower boxes hang on another wall, and a golden Buddha statue sits on a divider. The walls of the long, narrow room offer a colorful mix of exposed brick, subway tile, and Wedgewood blue. A long banquette lines one side, with a short bar on the other. Undraped black tables at the front and back are served by bright-yellow metal chairs.

The menu offers familiar Vietnamese dishes, but adds culinary forays to Thailand and China and even Mexico.

The main menu can get a bit spendy if you go for a fancy fish dinners such as black cod steamed in banana leaves ($29) or crispy fried whole fish ($21). The seven other signature dishes (entrees), though, land in the affordable range from $10 (for spicy bacon, egg, and cheese fried rice) to $16 (for several dishes including baby back ribs, drunken beef, and Hanoi chicken). Pho and other noodle bowls are all $12, and small plates and shareables are $6 (for spicy street corn or crisp fried tofu) to $12 (for several items such as spring rolls, shrimp rolls, wontons, and more).

For an even better deal, the lunch menu offers sharables, sides, and a combo including a generously portioned entree, a side, and a soft drink, all for $12. ...

Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/district-6-vietnam

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly's Food & Drink section today.
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

District 6 Gastropub
3930 Shelbyville Road
873-5561
http://eatdistrict6.wixsite.com
https://facebook.com/EatDistrict6
https://instagram.com/EatDistrict6

Robin Garr’s rating: 89 points.

Noise level: The sound level swelled a bit as the lunch hour crowd grew, but conversation remained easy. (Average sound was 72dB, the level of normal conversation, with occasional brief, shrieking peaks to 90dB.)

Accessibility: The restaurant and restrooms are generally accessible to wheelchair users, although a threshold bump at the entrance might be a chore for some.
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Ed Vermillion

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Re: District 6 brings a taste of Vietnam to St. Matthews

by Ed Vermillion » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:22 pm

A group of friends had lunch there today and we had pan-fried veggie dumplings and crispy fried tofu for appetizers. Veggie pho with tofu, vermicelli noodle salads, one with spicy tofu and one with roasted chicken, Brussel sprout and kale salad with miso, green ice tea, oolong tea, Vietnamese milky tea, and jasmine rice. The staff was friendly and attentive with nary a misstep. They have a neat feature on the menu that lets you show the kitchen by "buying them a round" for $5.00. We took advantage of it because all of the food was filling and delicious.
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Re: District 6 brings a taste of Vietnam to St. Matthews

by Clay Cundiff » Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:28 pm

I made my first visit to District 6 last Friday, and was mightily impressed with the food. Tried the short rib pho, crispy chicken buns, spicy fried cauliflower and the crispy tofu. All were very good, but the short rib pho and the cauliflower went straight to the top my "best dishes in town" list. The pho broth is super rich and delicately seasoned and the short rib is fall apart tender. The texture of the tempura cauliflower is perfect-tender enough but still with some bite to it- and the spice level is right in my sweet spot.
Liked it so well I ended up going back on Saturday to try the Drunken Beef, stir fried tenderloin with peppery greens and fresh herbs and a shot of vinegary fish sauce type goodness on the side. Also had to have the spicy cauliflower again. Service was friendly and attentive both times. This place is a winner.
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Re: District 6 brings a taste of Vietnam to St. Matthews

by Robin Garr » Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:30 pm

Thanks for the update, Clay. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Both times!
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Re: District 6 brings a taste of Vietnam to St. Matthews

by James Natsis » Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:31 pm

Clay Cundiff wrote:I made my first visit to District 6 last Friday, and was mightily impressed with the food. Tried the short rib pho, crispy chicken buns, spicy fried cauliflower and the crispy tofu. All were very good, but the short rib pho and the cauliflower went straight to the top my "best dishes in town" list. The pho broth is super rich and delicately seasoned and the short rib is fall apart tender. The texture of the tempura cauliflower is perfect-tender enough but still with some bite to it- and the spice level is right in my sweet spot.
Liked it so well I ended up going back on Saturday to try the Drunken Beef, stir fried tenderloin with peppery greens and fresh herbs and a shot of vinegary fish sauce type goodness on the side. Also had to have the spicy cauliflower again. Service was friendly and attentive both times. This place is a winner.



I made it out there this afternoon for a late lunch. I benefited from their $12 lunch menu that includes an appetizer, entree, and a drink. I had a tofu/avocado spring roll, vegetable/tofu pho, and hot ginger tea. It was quite a feast for $12. Everything was very well done, including the loose leaf tea served in a large iron kettle. I was tempted by the short rib pho and will go that route when I return. But I'll say that the veggie pho was excellent. As described above regarding the short rib pho, the veggie broth was very good....... bottom line---I'll copy the quote from above: This place is a winner.
James J. Natsis
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Andrew Mellman

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Re: District 6 brings a taste of Vietnam to St. Matthews

by Andrew Mellman » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:27 pm

Ate there last night, and they have caught on! Not only were they totally slammed, but several staff hadn't shown up and management was helping with service and cooking. I strongly suggest reservations!

I had the fried fish again, which remains one of my favorite dishes in the city, after the table split summer rolls (smaller than Thai, with more meat (we did not go vegetarian)) and hot wings (very tasty, with good depth of complex flavors.

Two at the table had the short rib pho (also recommended in posts above). The presentation was exceptional, with a 10 inch bone sitting in the bowl with a huge portion of melt-in-your-mouth tender meat on it, and the soup flavor was closer to a very rich gravy than most pho soups I've had. This was truly exceptional!

As in all our previous visits, the staff was excellent; they were friendly, knowledgeable, and kept us informed about how our food was doing (due to the no-shows it took longer than normal).

Only one problem: when slammed - with every table full and groups waiting in front - the noise level was considerable, but with that space there's not much they could have done.
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Re: District 6 brings a taste of Vietnam to St. Matthews

by Robin Garr » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:31 pm

Excellent report, Andrew, thanks.

Looking at the headline just now, it belatedly crossed my mind that I may have done NamNam a disservice. They've been turning out good Vietnamese in tiny St. Matthews quarters for years. :( I was thinking of the strip when I wrote that.

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