BOSA 1 – Boffo Vietnamese
It’s tempting to call Bosa 1 the best Vietnamese restaurant in town.
So we’ll just say it: Bosa 1 is the best Vietnamese restaurant in town.
On this, Slapsy Maxsy Jacobson and I agree.
Unlike many Vietnamese places, it’s not too big and the menu is mercifully short. Even more mercifully, the same old, same old pho is not the focus.
What this place is about is com tam — the extravagantly-adorned broken rice dishes of Vietnam.
That dry rice is cracked by hand every day before going into the com dishes — most of which are overlaid with various grilled meats or shrimp. Or something called a shrimp cake, that is sort of a large, round two-inch thick omelet of crab and shrimp bits held together by eggs, then cut into wedges or squares and scattered about the rice or soups on the menu.
But before you get to them, you’ll have to have an order of either nem nuong cuon (bbq pork) or chao tom (shrimp) spring rolls — containing as they do soft, crunchy, fresh and savory flavors of the sticky rice paper, the flaky pastry, and the main ingredient all tightly wrapped around cooked rice vermicelli noodles. They are the ne plus ultra of this dish (in this town anyway), and put any others you’ve had to shame with their size, their construction, and their taste.
Don’t worry if you’re a stranger to this cuisine — Vanessa (the sister of the owners) will smilingly guide you through the menu and explain all of the ingredients, cooking techniques and sauces. And she will lead you, no doubt to a large combo plate of various meats (com tam dac biet), that are this place’s raison d’etre (all French references contained herein are made in “honor” of the French occupation of Vietnam (1945-1954) — and the fact that ELV has been boning up on his French lessons).
Besides the broken rice (broken so more surface area is available to absorb the flavors of the superb toppings and sauces), you’ll also be crazy about the bun bo Hue (the definitive spicy beef soup from the city of the same name), and an oddball concoction called bun rieu (housemade chicken soup with vermicelli, tofu and square chunks of the baked shrimp/crab cake).
Wash it all down with a pennywort drink (made from the water lily of the same name and possessing a flat, fruity and refreshing flavor), or salty lemonade (definitely an acquired taste, but one we at ELV have acquired), and you’ll forget all about those forgettable pho frequenting our frontier.
3400 South Jones Blvd. Suite 2A
Las Vegas, NV 89146