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New Asia Restaurant - Excellent Vietnamese in Lincoln Square

New Asia Restaurant - Excellent Vietnamese in Lincoln Square
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  • Post #61 - March 17th, 2015, 10:11 am
    Post #61 - March 17th, 2015, 10:11 am Post #61 - March 17th, 2015, 10:11 am
    laikom wrote:I guess I see things a different way, but whenever I call a restaurant to inquire about their closing time I always ask specifically "what time is your last seating". In the dozens of calls I've made, I don't think I remember a single time when the answer was the same as the closing times, and it varies greatly usually depending on how long a meal takes to prepare/eat. A half hour is not uncommon in my experience. A lot of the time the answer is along the lines of "we're not going to throw you out, but it would be nice if you got here by X time".

    Why would this fall on the customer? I'm already calling for the hours. It seems like that would be the perfect opportunity for the person who answers the phone to say "well, we close at 10 but our kitchen closes at 9:00 (or whenever)." Why else would I be calling other than to find out when I could come eat there? I wasn't taking a survey.

    The first time I tried to go to New Asia -- not the first and only time I actually ate there -- I called and was told that they were open until 11. When I arrived at 10:20 the doors were locked. I called from outside the restaurant and asked why they told me 11. The woman on the phone said, "we open at 11." While I'd asked about "open until," she answered "open at." Clearly, there was a language barrier. Understood and ok.

    Now, combine that incident with the fact that when we did eat there, we had to order by pointing at items on the menu, and our questions about what to order were met with nothing more than nods. Given all that, I don't think a conversation like one would described above, especially over the phone, would have been remotely possible. But it's a nice thought.

    laikom wrote:If you ever had the chance to work a grueling, severely underpaid job of kitchen staff (especially in a family run ethnic restaurant) you would probably have a little more sympathy, or at the very least more reticent to blast them publicly after one clearly miffed meal. I know you don't want to hear excuses, but often times the staff is being paid a barely legal, sometimes not, day rate where they are paid the same stipend no matter if they walk out the door right at 10 or at 12. Not saying it's right, or fair, or even your personal problem, just how it is.

    I'm not without empathy but I'd hardly call accurately recounting my experience blasting them. The lady was unfriendly to us and the food wasn't that great. In the larger context of this discussion taking place during GNR nominations, I felt it was especially important to share my my opinion, even if it isn't held by everyone here. At the end of the day, I can only compare my experience at New Asia to other, similar places. I eat at family-run, ethnic restaurants all the time and my experience at New Asia was a relatively unpleasant one, on a number of levels.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #62 - March 18th, 2015, 6:45 am
    Post #62 - March 18th, 2015, 6:45 am Post #62 - March 18th, 2015, 6:45 am
    I understand that Ronnie had a bad experience and don't think it should be dismissed. His opinion is as relevant as that of anyone else. But really, what is so complicated? You go to the restaurant, sit down, order, eat. I've done this several times at New Asia. Even at other restaurants. The food I was served looked identical to what was served to other customers, and the waitress, despite a language barrier, was all smiles, and when my parents were there, quite patient with their incessant questions (with my father repeatedly insisting that he KNEW that pho had pork in it - it obviously does not, as confirmed by the waitress).

    New Asia is a great place; a unique place. Who else serves that super fresh, savory chicken? Where else can you get oxtail pho? Fresh rabbit? It's also a whole hell of a lot more convenient to drive to than Argyle, with plentiful parking. I'm sorry that Ronnie had a shitty experience, but I still think that New Asia is a quality place and maybe deserves a second (third?) shot. In the middle of the day!
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #63 - March 18th, 2015, 10:17 am
    Post #63 - March 18th, 2015, 10:17 am Post #63 - March 18th, 2015, 10:17 am
    Habibi wrote:I understand that Ronnie had a bad experience and don't think it should be dismissed. His opinion is as relevant as that of anyone else. But really, what is so complicated? You go to the restaurant, sit down, order, eat. I've done this several times at New Asia. Even at other restaurants. The food I was served looked identical to what was served to other customers, and the waitress, despite a language barrier, was all smiles, and when my parents were there, quite patient with their incessant questions (with my father repeatedly insisting that he KNEW that pho had pork in it - it obviously does not, as confirmed by the waitress).

    New Asia is a great place; a unique place. Who else serves that super fresh, savory chicken? Where else can you get oxtail pho? Fresh rabbit? It's also a whole hell of a lot more convenient to drive to than Argyle, with plentiful parking. I'm sorry that Ronnie had a shitty experience, but I still think that New Asia is a quality place and maybe deserves a second (third?) shot. In the middle of the day!

    I agree that our timing was unfortunate. And we probably should have just left after they initially told us they were closed. The irony is that I really wanted to try it before GNR discussion period had ended, and the time we showed up was my last chance to do so. Oh well. As I mentioned above, this place is loved by so many here whose opinions I usually agree with.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #64 - April 4th, 2015, 9:26 am
    Post #64 - April 4th, 2015, 9:26 am Post #64 - April 4th, 2015, 9:26 am
    Just chiming in with a "me too" after being here three times, most recently last night. The goi ga was exactly as advertised, and I found the shredded chicken chewy but not dry, and a pleasantly different change from the usual. The pho ga was not something I would have thought of ordering normally, but it was delicate, flavorful, velvety without feeling fatty, and overall an excellent soup I could enjoy repeatedly. I've had the beef and mustard greens twice now, and it's worth the trip. The other beef-based pho I've had was equally good.

    Definitely do not be in a hurry here, but the wait is worth it. I will be returning for the rabbit!
  • Post #65 - May 4th, 2015, 8:04 am
    Post #65 - May 4th, 2015, 8:04 am Post #65 - May 4th, 2015, 8:04 am
    As devoted lovers of Vietnamese food we made the longish trek to New Asia via public transportation. I don't think I have ever been that far on the Brown Line.

    At first the prices threw me off as being rather expensive, but the goi ga is pretty huge for 15 dollars, though in the end it is just chicken and cabbage. Anyways, I liked it quite a bit, but the chewy chicken got a bit tiring. I actually enjoyed the dark meat and liver bits the most. It was improved much by our chili dip concoction made from the various condiments on the table. I am not sure I understand all the praise for the chili oil. Calling this amazing chili oil is setting the bar pretty low. I can whip up better chili oils/pastes at home with minimal effort. I am not even sure they fried the chilis in the oil. In the end I would still rather have goi at Nha Hang.

    More disappointing was 8 dollars for a very skimpy portion of morning glory stir fried in some garlic and maybe white fermented tofu? I couldn't get a straight answer on the difference between the two ong choy preparations. Very good but not distinctive from the many other versions I have had at Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese restaurants over the years.

    Finally we tried the beef in sour mustard greens. Really liked the flavor of this dish but the beef was dry and tough and really dragged an otherwise very good dish down.

    Overall, the place is pretty good if you live in the area, but really not worth going out of you way for.
  • Post #66 - November 11th, 2015, 7:55 pm
    Post #66 - November 11th, 2015, 7:55 pm Post #66 - November 11th, 2015, 7:55 pm
    Stopped in there last night only to find out that they are closed for vacation from Oct 12th to November 23rd, reopening Nov. 24th. Luckily I live close, and we had a great dinner at Isla Pilipina instead.
  • Post #67 - March 8th, 2017, 4:48 pm
    Post #67 - March 8th, 2017, 4:48 pm Post #67 - March 8th, 2017, 4:48 pm
    New Asia is reopen after a record-breakingly quick remodel and expansion job. They expanded into the adjacent storefront more than tripling the seating capacity. The menu has also expanded, with a few new types of noodles and soups taking up full pages, but also many new dishes sprinkled throughout the other menu sections.

    With as many changes, I was worried that they had sold the company or a new chef had taken over, but was relieved to find out that Tiffany is still the owner and chef in charge. If my first meal at the new New Asia is any indication, they are firing at 110%.

    The new dishes we tried were all great, but especially the Mi Quang. Excellent quality noodles, skin on pork, and quail eggs. I would call the flavors more nuanced than others around town. On first bite, I thought, hmm, subtle if not under seasoned? Second bite, wow, top quality ingredients in here, clean. Third bite, okay I'm eating next level stuff here. 4th and 5th bites, I admit I did add a little fish sauce and chili oil, but you all knew I was going to do that anyhow. Seriously this is excellent Mi Quang.

    20170308_133538_Pano.jpg


    Mi Quang plus herbs to go with:

    20170308_131013_HDR.jpg


    20170308_131113_HDR.jpg


    20170308_132513_HDR.jpg
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #68 - March 9th, 2017, 3:57 am
    Post #68 - March 9th, 2017, 3:57 am Post #68 - March 9th, 2017, 3:57 am
    laikom wrote:but especially the Mi Quang.

    Lunch at New Asia was terrific, in particular, as laikom says, Mi Quang with its accompanying plate of thinly sliced banana blossom, limes and herbs. Honorable mention to tender squid salad loaded with herbs and fresh hot peppers.

    NewAsiaA.jpg New Asia Squid Salad


    Happy to have New Asia reopened and better than ever.

    New Asia, Count me a Fan!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #69 - April 16th, 2017, 8:21 am
    Post #69 - April 16th, 2017, 8:21 am Post #69 - April 16th, 2017, 8:21 am
    I had my second dinner from born again New Asia in the last 3 weeks since seeing not only that they had reopened, but they also are offering the difficult to find Mi Quang. All credit in the world to laikom, the undisputed pho crawler/fanatic & Vietnamese expert of LTH (notwithstanding his overtly non double-blind methodology), and GWiv for recommending that specific dish. I picked up a menu in person beforehand because of their website aversion. I knew to get the Tom Thit Trung (shrimp, pork, quail egg) option.

    Their Mi Quang really is fantastic. The pork broth is richer and more mellow than the broth of pho, bun bo hue, or any sate in a tonkatsu-esque way. But it's not boring at all because the accoutrements include a red Thai chili pepper instead of the jalapeno slices that usually comes with pho. This leaves you with a rich, shrimp+pork+quail egg, wide rice noodle soup, with effectively as much heat as you choose, sesame prawn chip, and a twist of lime to finish. Brilliant.

    The other two dishes I've had were Banh Xeo, previously unoffered and my favorite Vietnamese dish generally, and Goi Ga, previously their de facto specialty which I enjoyed.

    This Banh Xeo was great. Far less greasy/oily than most, with a few mid-large shrimp inside. The nuoc cham sauce is perfect, not overly sweet in the slightest.

    The Goi Ga has changed, not in quality, but approach. It now has a far more ambitious flavor profile, including some sliced Thai chili. This is Goi Ga amped-the-fuck-up! It's a little crude because the heat of the chili is so acute and localized, as the dish is an accumulation of fresh ingredients rather than a balanced sauce. It certainly is not a safe play, but I am a fan of heat, so it's subjectively a successful tweak. The salad has also been altered in the cut of the cabbage. It is much more finely chopped with a higher daikon presence. Still a good amount of peanuts and lots of boiled, pullable chicken. Less of the unwanted (IMO, it's boiled, there's no textural appeal) skin too, in my first batch.

    Overall, I'm beyond ecstatic to have New Asia back, and more of a risk taker than ever. Between New Asia, Nhu Lan & Rainbow Cuisine, there is not a half mile stretch I would rather have. So unpretentious.
  • Post #70 - June 19th, 2017, 3:25 pm
    Post #70 - June 19th, 2017, 3:25 pm Post #70 - June 19th, 2017, 3:25 pm
    laikom wrote:With as many changes, I was worried that they had sold the company or a new chef had taken over, but was relieved to find out that Tiffany is still the owner and chef in charge.

    Per New Asia's Facebook page, a post today states that Tiffany is now back after a 6 month vacation.

    While I have been incredibly pleased with their Mi Quang and Goi Ga since the March reopen, an order of Bun Bo Hue was a total flavorless failure. I cannot wait to see how damn good a Tiffany-boosted Mi Quang is! I'll report back by the end of the week.
  • Post #71 - June 21st, 2017, 4:49 pm
    Post #71 - June 21st, 2017, 4:49 pm Post #71 - June 21st, 2017, 4:49 pm
    bweiny wrote:
    laikom wrote:With as many changes, I was worried that they had sold the company or a new chef had taken over, but was relieved to find out that Tiffany is still the owner and chef in charge.

    Per New Asia's Facebook page, a post today states that Tiffany is now back after a 6 month vacation.

    While I have been incredibly pleased with their Mi Quang and Goi Ga since the March reopen, an order of Bun Bo Hue was a total flavorless failure. I cannot wait to see how damn good a Tiffany-boosted Mi Quang is! I'll report back by the end of the week.


    I did mean to comment on here that Tiffany was stuck out of town. Thanks for updating us on it. I will actually go so far as to say you are putting the disappointments lightly. Yes, that Mi Quang was great, but that pho (bland! sweet!!), and many other items were not the same, and frankly it was almost all sub par. Even the fried items weren't properly fried. Anyhow, and I'm really happy that she is finally home!
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #72 - July 30th, 2017, 7:44 pm
    Post #72 - July 30th, 2017, 7:44 pm Post #72 - July 30th, 2017, 7:44 pm
    As of this evening, an accurate phone number is needed, since the previous and unanimously incorrectly online-repeated (773)728-2406 is inactive (phone co. message w/out new info).

    I commented on their FB page and will update if & when I have something. Otherwise a drive-by is in order by Tues-Wedns.
  • Post #73 - August 1st, 2017, 1:14 pm
    Post #73 - August 1st, 2017, 1:14 pm Post #73 - August 1st, 2017, 1:14 pm
    I stopped by an hour ago. It was not open. There were still containers with napkins and chopsticks, as well as fish sauce and sriracha on the tables, but it looked like the visible prep areas in the front right and back left of the space were cleared out.

    Too early to say with absolute certainty, especially given the mini-sabbatical taken at the end of last year, but sadly it may be the end of New Asia.

    I will post any updates as I become aware of them. Fingers remain crossed.
  • Post #74 - August 30th, 2017, 6:01 pm
    Post #74 - August 30th, 2017, 6:01 pm Post #74 - August 30th, 2017, 6:01 pm
    For Rent sign on the door when I passed by tonight.
  • Post #75 - October 16th, 2017, 6:17 pm
    Post #75 - October 16th, 2017, 6:17 pm Post #75 - October 16th, 2017, 6:17 pm
    New Asia is back open and as good, if not better, than ever. Tiffany smiling, social, absolutely effervescent with hospitality! Thanks for the heads up Matt Z, aka laikom, (new) New Asia made my day.

    NewNewAsiaLTH1.jpg (new) New Asia Pho
    NewNewAsiaLTH2.jpg Pho Veg
    NewNewAsiaLTH4.jpg Tiffany
    NewNewAsiaLTH5.jpg (new) New Asia


    Reopened New Asia, Count me a Fan!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #76 - October 17th, 2017, 2:13 pm
    Post #76 - October 17th, 2017, 2:13 pm Post #76 - October 17th, 2017, 2:13 pm
    laikom wrote: 4th and 5th bites, I admit I did add a little fish sauce and chili oil, but you all knew I was going to do that anyhow.
    Ha! love this
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #77 - October 21st, 2017, 6:18 pm
    Post #77 - October 21st, 2017, 6:18 pm Post #77 - October 21st, 2017, 6:18 pm
    Just dined here tonight and didn't see Mi Quang on their menu and the server said they didn't have it. Someone with more intel should double check to see if it's a permanent change or if it was just a fluke tonight.
  • Post #78 - December 18th, 2017, 5:04 pm
    Post #78 - December 18th, 2017, 5:04 pm Post #78 - December 18th, 2017, 5:04 pm
    Behavioral wrote:Just dined here tonight and didn't see Mi Quang on their menu and the server said they didn't have it. Someone with more intel should double check to see if it's a permanent change or if it was just a fluke tonight.

    Having resumed my New Asia consumption this month, I tried asking this very question, and it appears to be a permanent removal (so too with Banh Xeo). But given the last 13 months of this establishment, how permanent is anything?

    I will echo the praise of Laikom and G Wiv with regard to Act III of New Asia with Tiffany back in town. The Pho Ga and Mi Ga have been outstanding, as were the crispy egg rolls. I was searching for an appetizer to take the place of Banh Xeo, and while not as large an item, these were truly fantastic. Think jumbo lumpia with a very thin wrapper and a perfect light fry. Eating these fresh with a little dunk in the sweet & sour dipping sauce is in the running for best available in the post-Kow Kow world. I've been too stuck on the wings, egg rolls and soups to get a Goi Ga. I'll have to correct that.

    While not as bad as the version I had in the spring, the Bun Bo Hue remains a notch below their other offerings, and I might swear off the dish completely unless I'm on the phone with or at Cafe Hoang.
  • Post #79 - May 14th, 2018, 6:18 pm
    Post #79 - May 14th, 2018, 6:18 pm Post #79 - May 14th, 2018, 6:18 pm
    "New Asia" is no more.,. per the sign draped over the awning it's now known as "Pho Lan Phuong". A small sign in the window does specify it as a name change. Anyone have any intel on if there are any substantive changes in the kitchen or on the menu?
    We crack us up.
  • Post #80 - June 8th, 2018, 2:14 pm
    Post #80 - June 8th, 2018, 2:14 pm Post #80 - June 8th, 2018, 2:14 pm
    Snax wrote:"New Asia" is no more.,. per the sign draped over the awning it's now known as "Pho Lan Phuong". ... Anyone have any intel on if there are any substantive changes in the kitchen or on the menu?

    I was concerned by this post immediately upon seeing it, but then also noticed how New Asia wasn't being shown as defunct anywhere online. It was as though both PLP and NA were operating.

    I swung by 40 minutes ago to resolve it directly. Tiffany was there. Everything is the same (menu, space, phone, chef), except the name. They didn't have new carry-out menus printed, and the dine-in laminated ones just have the new name taped over.

    I didn't ask much more. There were a couple tables dining on a late lunch. Either they figured a direct Vietnamese title would resonate with customers, or there was some trademark or other legal/business reason to make the change. I was pleased to verify everything important remains the same.

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