When the spicy aroma of Le Fat’s spicy and sour lemongrass, beef shank and ham hock concoction known as bun bo hue (a.k.a. spicy beef soup) wafted under my nose for the first time, I knew it was love at first smell. It’s just one of the happy mouth-makers that West Midtown’s latest eat spot is serving up. Recently, I recruited my foodie friend, Kristen, and her taste buds to help me find out what lunch at Le Fat is all about. What I learned is that this Vietnamese brasserie’s menu packs a flavorful punch that is just what this neighborhood needs.
“My family has always operated Chinese restaurants, and she’d always wanted to share food from her culture,” he said. “This food is made from my family recipes. And it’s fun to make, because I’m able to use techniques I’ve learned over the years to create dishes you’ve never seen before.”
When I stepped into the space, I felt like I was strolling into a French brasserie (a nod to Vietnam’s ties to France) with an Anthropologie-esque charm. Old-school dark wood chairs and barstools cozy up to weathered wood tables and a well-stocked bar. Walls are decorated with a whimsical print of birds and flowers set against a cool green-blue background. Everything is simple but chic. And equally as charming is Le Fat’s sidewalk seating, which will be a hot spot when our steamy summer starts to subside.
Since it was lunch and I had to return to my day job after, we weren’t able to partake in the resto’s carefully curated wine and artisan cocktail options. But had I been able to, I would have gone straight for the Chelsea Flower (a combo of Pimm’s No. 1, Lillet Gin, seasonal fruit, English cucumber, mint and ginger).
First up, we noshed on an order of the summer rolls—shrimp, pork, herbs and vermicelli wrapped up into a yummy little package.
Then, I indulged in a big old sloppy bowl of that spicy beef soup. Rarely do I enjoy soup in 90-degree weather, but this was a welcome exception. Kristen went for the com with rice and pork, with all sorts of veggies to mix in. And trust us, shell out the additional $1.50 to add a fried egg. Your taste buds will thank you for it.
Our sweet tooth couldn’t convince our full bellies to make room for dessert. But, if the spirit moves you, there are white pear dumplings, jade brulée and hazelnut chocolate cake bites to enjoy. They’re the icing on the dining experience cake that will leave you falling in love with Le Fat.
Le Fat is located at 935 Marietta St. in West Midtown. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday). For more information, call (404) 439-9850 or visit lefatatl.com.