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Mai's Restaurant Restaurant Review: One of Houston’s first Vietnamese restaurants, Mai’s, named for owner Mai Nguyen, has been a dining and late-night fixture on the city’s scene since 1978. The contemporary dining room is done in soft shades of bamboo green, brown and yellow. Accents include stone, bamboo, mosaic tile and warm wood tones in the millwork (a tribute to Nguyen’s carpenter father). On the menu, tried and true favorites like salt-and-pepper tofu, garlic beef and spring rolls never fail, but try some of the newer items as well, including the Vietnamese fish tacos with rice paper, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, fish sauce, pickled carrots and pressed vermicelli topped with chopped peanuts, fried onions and thinly sliced green onions. The dessert lineup is laden with treats like coconut cheesecake, fried bananas Foster and flan prepared with Vietnamese iced coffee.