According to New Yorker food philosopher Calvin Trillin, Portland  has some of the best Vietnamese restaurants outside of Saigon. The neighborhood along NE Sandy Boulevard east of NE 50th Avenue to NE 82nd Avenue is the locus of Portland ’s Southeast Asian business community. Several restaurants here are dedicated to pho, or Vietnamese noodle soup, while others offer Vietnamese, Malaysian, Chinese, and Thai cooking.
Vietnamese restaurants to try include Zien Hong (5314 NE Sandy Blvd., 503/288-4743, 11 a.m.–midnight daily, $7–14) and Yen Ha (6820 NE Sandy Blvd., 503/287-3698, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, $8–14).
In Portland’s Hollywood District, My Canh (1801 NE 39th Ave., 503/281-0594, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 4–10 p.m. Sun., $8–16) offers both Vietnamese and Chinese cooking. The curried chow mein noodles are a revelation, and the pho soups are excellent. Perhaps because the chefs are Vietnamese, the Chinese food here is lighter and less greasy than is typical.