We saw "Vietnamese Cuisine" when we visited Izakaya Matsu the night before, so instead of looking up a good V. Restaurant to go to (again, hungover), we decided to check it out.
The room was big, looked tacky (as with most V. places, which I don't really care), and barely had any customers at 1pm or so on Thursday.
I don't remember seeing Green Papaya Salad on many V. Restaurant menus, and only tried the Thai versions, so I thought.. why not, lets check out Maui's V. version. The carrots and papaya were soaked through with with nuoc mam (fish sauce, sugar, water, lime juice, etc), topped with chopped peanuts and 2 pieces of shrimp. The flavor was good, vegetables were addicting, and peanuts really worked well with the dish. The shrimp wasn't very fresh -- tasted rubbery like it was def. frozen for a while.
Purpose of our trip -- Pho Tai. Their soup base was very good, meat well cooked, but the noodles were of a thicker variety that was precooked and just dumped in the broth, so we had a hard time breaking it apart and hoping it'd soften (it didn't entirely). The plate of ingredients for us to put into the soup didn't look fresh either... the basil had these white stuff in one of the stems that seemed like mold. The lime slices where small, thin and yellow, so I asked for more... and the ones given were still small, thin and yellow. It just looked old...
overall – good flavors, but they definitely lack in freshness of ingredients. The noodles definitely need to be replaced -- tasted older and were way too thick.