Vietnamese Twice-Cooked Beef Tacos @ Carthay Circle Lounge

Price: $16.00

When: November 12, 2016, 2:15 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Not recommended

Nick, Anne, Elaine and I are doing an appetizer-palooza at the Carthay Circle Lounge. (There are tons of good choices, so … why not?) We just finished (and thoroughly enjoyed) the Skuna Bay Salmon Poke. Now we’re looking for our next dish.

We decide on a completely different flavor profile: the Vietnamese Twice-Cooked Beef Tacos.

The dish arrives. It consists of four small tacos, each held upright in a metal tray. The tacos themselves are hard-shelled, filled with spiced beef, and topped with a light amount of veg (the menu calls it “pineapple mint salsa”).

There are four of us at the table, so we each get our own taco. Four hands reach in.

The initial reaction? Wow, this is salty.

And it is. It’s a salt bomb. My first bite was somewhat positive, but I think that was just the novelty and the MSG talking. Every subsequent bite revealed that this is a pretty mediocre dish. The meat doesn’t have much spice or flavor. The taco shell is OK, but not adding much. And the veg on top is subsumed by the tsunami of sodium. In short: you’re really just getting meat texture, some taco crunch, and the saltiness.

Elaine didn’t finish hers. Nick and Anne each thought it was sort-of OK, but not worth ordering again. And I agree. There’s nothing about this that would commend it.

Not recommended.