Benley Vietnamese Kitchen Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen

Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen

8191 E. Wardlow Rd. (N. Norwalk Blvd.)
Long Beach, CA 90808
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Benley's French-accented Vietnamese cuisine warrants a special trip to dine at this out-of-the-way café.
Openings: Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat.


Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen Restaurant Review:

This minimalist Vietnamese café tucked in the corner of an unassuming Long Beach strip mall succeeds due to the skills of its talented kitchen. Appetizers include fried and salted cuttlefish, as well as lemongrass-charred pork spring rolls. The authentic pho is a good way to sample one of the restaurant's four varieties of beef noodle soup, while the braised short rib separates from the bone with the flick of a chopstick and is accompanied by an avocado purée. Main dishes include catfish with tomato confit, a rich chicken curry, and flattened chicken with a red wine jus. More ambitious dishes come in the likes of pan-seared salmon served with sautéed leafy greens and topped with cilantro aïoli and flash-fried salted shrimps with soybean oil and ginger strands. There's no wine list and no bar, but much planning has gone into the desserts. Buttermilk panna cotta, ringed with mint syrup and Key lime anglaise, is tasty. So is the classic preparation of bananas Foster. Given the off-the-beaten-path location and décor limited to two paper lanterns and three photos of Saigon, Benley can afford to charge less for the ambitious food.

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