Restaurant review: Wrap O Roll offers traditional Vietnamese dishes in a contemporary setting.
Even though the name sounds like a fast-food stop in your favorite mall’s food court, Wrap O Roll in the Chinatown International District is far from it.
The contemporary restaurant, which opened in August, offers traditional Vietnamese dishes and specializes in wraps and rolls. Unlike appetizer-size rolls, these concoctions are easily large enough for an entire meal.
The menu: The wraps and rolls are what the restaurant is known for, but the menu also includes traditional cuisine, from rice dishes to pho noodles. The rolls are about $5; everything else is in the $8 to $12 range.
What to write home about: The Thi Nuong Cuon is barbecue pork rolled in rice paper and stuffed with vermicelli noodles, lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts and mint. It’s accompanied by a house-made peanut sauce.
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The Banh Xeo is a pan-fried rice flour crepe, which looks like a large omelet, flavored with coconut milk and filled with shrimp, sliced pork and vegetables. You wrap it all up in lettuce leaves and dip into a fish sauce.
But don’t stop there. The rice and noodle dishes are just as good. The Com Tho Ga features rice and chicken cooked in a clay pot and served with pickled vegetables, which add a little heat when you combine them. And the Bun Bo Xao Xa Ot mixes stir-fried beef with lemon grass over vermicelli noodles.
The setting: In an area known for traditional Asian décor, Wrap O Roll takes a more modern approach, with its gray-and-red color scheme and dark wood furniture. The presentation of the food is as much of an art as the decorations on the wall.
Summing up: Two rolls, a wrap, rice dish, noodle dish, appetizer and two drinks — enough to feed four people — came to $45. The menu is easy to follow, the parking is plentiful and the waitstaff is friendly.
Jon Fisch: 206-464-8326