The Gagit’s are completing an Asian perfecta with a visit to Basilic Vietnamese Grill in Boca, after reviewing, Pocha Korean in Lauderhill and Oishi Thai in North Miami. (Read my MIAbites articles on Pocha here and Oishi Thai here. )
Basilic is the creation of not the Blues Brothers, but the Vu Brothers, Vince and John who left Vietnam and went to San Diego and then moved to Florida five years ago to spread the Vietnamese culinary word to Florida, first in Fort Lauderdale and more recently with its success in Boca Raton.
Vietnamese food touches on the unique Asian flavors of Vietnam but also some of the French influence so prevalent in Vietnam.
We pull up to the restaurant and are greeted outside by John Vu who welcomes us into his restaurant. As is the Gagit tradition, we order local beer and in this case Hue Beer, which is served with Prawn Crackers with the appropriate spice sauces. We are now in the Vietnamese frame of mind and we let John order for us from his most popular dishes.
Our first course is Tom VA Muc Rang Muoi, Crispy calamari and shrimp, tossed with green onion and chili in a salt and pepper seasoning. Wow. The next appetizer offers a completely different flavor, Banh Xeo, a Vietnamese Crepe, filled with bean sprout, pork and shrimp served with lettuce and Vietnamese sauce. This is now my favorite but with much more to come.
I have never visited a Vietnamese Restaurant without trying the Pho, and no exception here. In our case Pho Ga, Sliced Chicken with rice noodles, along with fresh green onions, cilantro, basil, lime and bean sprouts, and of course some Sriracha and Hoisin on the side. It is hard to stop slurping up this dish. We thought we were finished but John had the servers bring out Do Bien Xao Cay, spicy stir-fried seafood with tomatoes, bean sprout and onion served with white rice, different flavors but great taste.
Are we done yet? NO! We are next served Chien Vet Ot, lemongrass duck; duck marinated with lemongrass and chilies, served with slaw and steamed rice. No room for dessert after that feast, but we vow to try the Won Ton Mango Ice Cream next time, After eating more than we should, I confirm that the Bangh Xeo was still my favorite dish.
Let the Truth be Told, there was no winner amongst the three, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese except for the Gagit’s , who as the Big Winners enjoyed every dish in this Asian food Trifecta. The only regret is that both Pocha and Basilic Vietnamese Grill require a road trip, so maybe someday; hopefully soon, they will be in the Miami area.
200 S. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, Fl.