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2010 Best of Sacramento Winner
1001 Jefferson Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA
2010 Best of Sacramento Winner - Best Spring Rolls
There is exciting food to be found in the Sacramento region, and often it is the small, family-owned establishments—tucked back into anonymous strip malls—that are dishing it up. If you want to take your palate on an exotic, memorable holiday, head to West Sacramento’s Vientiane Restaurant, which serves up fantastic Thai and Lao cuisine. The tidy, small dining room is spare, with cool tile floors and varnished wood tables. A huge mirror extending across one wall makes it appear, for a moment, to be much larger than it actually is. The only spot of color in the room are several beautiful embroidered Thai wall hangings, and the windows look out onto a parking lot and busy Jefferson Boulevard out front. But you’ll quickly forget the ambience as you spoon that first bite of caramel pork into your mouth. An intensely flavored, slightly sweet and just-spicy-enough dish, the pork is even better when ladled over the restaurant’s white rice. Nudge your taste buds awake with Vientiane’s Lao spring rolls, crammed with fresh lettuce, rice noodles and cilantro, and served with an invigorating lemon sauce; and—if you like a fiery tongue—plunge into the restaurant’s irresistible chili paste shrimp, sautéed with bamboo shoots, carrots, onions and basil. Other specialties at friendly Vientiane include the very popular and wonderfully flavorful Lao sausage—ground pork with garlic, lemongrass hot chili pepper and kaffir lime leaves; and the mouth-jangling, vibrant squid salad, enlivened with chili paste, ginger and cilantro. This is one meal you—and your palate—won’t soon forget. — Kira O'Donnell
Insider tip: Vientiane’s dining room fills up quickly at lunch, so rrive early to guarantee a seat.
Reservations: For parties of six or more
Payment methods: AmEx, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Hours: Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Price Range: Inexpensive
2010 Best of Sacramento Winner: Editors' Pick
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