Restaurant Week: Élevé in Walnut Creek

by foodhoe on June 29, 2012

1677 N. Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA 94596 | 925.979.1677 | website | online reservations

I finally was able to lunch at Élevé during Walnut Creek Restaurant week where over 2 dozen of Walnut Creek’s finest restaurants offer 3 course prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus at prices ranging from $10-$40. The word Élevé is derived from the French verb, élever (to raise; to elevate), it also is a combination of the owners children’s names: Ella and Ava. It is clear that Chef and Co-Owner Michele Nguyen has a vision of raising the level of dining at her Vietnamese restaurant where no detail has been overlooked: the handcrafted cocktails are from a menu that was created by Thad Vogler, who helped develop the cocktails at Slanted Door, Camino, and Flora), to the commitment of serving the freshest organic ingredients to present a menu of updated classic Vietnamese cuisine and for providing a casual atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful dining room and delicious fare.

It was a hot day and I was craving the fresh flavors of Shrimp Spring Rolls (gỏi cuốn in Vietnamese) so I ended up not ordering the special 3-course lunch… Instead, we began with refreshing rolls made with ethereal and translucent rice paper wrapped around crisp lettuce, cucumber, mint, vermicelli, and cooked shrimp dipped into a hoisin-peanut sauce. I love the chewy texture of the wrap and all of the flavors and texture combine to create a state of bliss in my mouth.

Our server recommended the Chicken Xào Lăn as one of his favorites. A spicy yellow coconut curry made with bean thread, earwood mushroom and sprinkled with fresh herbs was delicious served over a steaming mound of fragrant jasmine rice.

I had the Vietnamese Sandwich made with Spicy Grilled Pork ($10), which dare I say, rivaled the amazing Bánh Mì that I recently raved about from the Food Coma Cafe in Oakland (click here to read more about that). The baguette was lightly toasted and hollowed out and filled with a pile o’grilled pork that had been tossed with caramelized hoisin, along with the requisite cucumbers, pickled carrots and jalapeños, drizzled with a house chili blend sauce and garnished with sprigs of fresh cilantro. It was a very well crafted sandwich.

And for a mere $3, I enjoyed a side of Onion Rings, which were a little greasy and not as crispy as I like them, but then I prefer the extra crunch of the breadcrumbs.

It is hard to make the mental leap from paying $4 for a Bánh Mì, to paying $10 for one, but to me the difference in quality is worth the price, plus you do get to hang out in in some very nice swanky digs…


Eleve on Urbanspoon

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa June 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Nice food! Fresh looking.




grace July 3, 2012 at 1:43 am

i would normally stay away from a place with a french name, but that stuff looks pretty tasty. glad to know the name has another meaning for the owners! 🙂


Kristen July 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Cocktail menu is AMAZING. They hand carve the ice for a few of there liquor-forward drinks so it melts more slowly and preserves the integrity of the drink. You can also get happy hour all night long if you sit at the bar.


foodhoe July 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm

sounds wonderful, good to know about the happy hour at the bar!


Gastronomer July 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Viet goes swank! $10 banh mi? Maybe…


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