Dan and I finally tried the trendy Vietnamese fusion Xanh Restaurant in downtown Mountain View this week. We always walk by and say, “One of these days we really need to go there!” but we’re usually sweaty from the walk from home or hankering for Thai instead. Well, we finally designated a date night on Monday and managed to get there in time for an hour of happy hour specials (definitely a great deal, as the cocktails and appetizers on the happy hour menu are pretty much 50% less than usual). We got Xanh’s version of a caipirinha (pretty yummy and mostly like a normal caipirinha with the addition of lychee), mojito (tasty, but not really that special—admittedly, my mojito tastes have been spoiled by Gloria’s!) and sangria/Xanhgria (quite yummy, plus a good pun on the restaurant name, which we were told is pronounced like “sun”). Our Buddha roll was tasty (though I wished the mushrooms in the description were actually in the rolls) and garlic noodles were pretty good comfort food (not garlicky enough, but I suppose we’re picky about that!).
To make up for the cheap happy hour specials, I couldn’t resist the most awesome sounding “Xanh Enlightened Crab,” which was described as “wok fired dungeness crab with roasted garlic, lemon grass, thai basil, kaffir lime leaf, green peppers, and fresh cracked pepper.” Since we have a thriving kaffir lime tree in front of our house, I was so curious to see how else to season with it other than in Thai red curry. Well, it did not disappoint, and, really, the picture does not really show how incredibly large it was (that plate took up a good third of the table!). I guess I should have known what I was in store for when the server brought out four moist towelettes before the dish came out. The seasoning was like a really complex, spicy, slightly sweet curry (the pineapple really made the sauce, and that wasn’t even in the description!), and since the crab took so much work, it canceled out the calories, right? Anyway, “ridiculous” is the word that kept popping out of my mouth—ridiculously huge, ridiculously messy, and ridiculously awesome.