Flatiron Lunch: If You’re Craving Vietnamese L’Annam 28 Does the Trick


After all my recent reminiscing about the meals I ate while in Vietnam, I found myself craving the flavors of Southeast Asia. Pho 32 and Golden City just weren’t going to cut it, so I decided to see what my options were in the Kips Bay/Murray Hill South area. I don’t often make my way that far east, so I thought I’d explore, if I didn’t find anything, I could always fall back on Baoguette. It didn’t come to that, and though I’m now fiending for a banh mi sandwich, I’m happy to have discovered L’Annam 28.


I’ve been to Lannan’s Union Square branch years ago and vaguely remember enjoying it, but I wondered how I’d like it now. The menu is a bit wide ranging, with some Thai-style curries and a couple Japanese and Chinese dishes mixed in, but it’s got a good focus on Vietnamese dishes like Pho and Bun. The lunch specials are equally mixed offering 20 dishes for $6.95 each. The non-noodle options come with your choice of rice, white, brown or fried.


The full sized pho is available as a lunch special, but I decided to go with a smaller portion for $4.25 as a starter. Even so, the small is a good size, enough to thaw me out after the walk from the office. Unlike other shops, there are no options for the pho, it comes as is, full of tendon-rich slices of beef and noodles. The flavor is deeper and a bit saltier than at the places near my office, which was reward enough for the trek.


I was a bit taken aback when my order of pork chops on fried rice showed up next. The order comes on a platter that looks like it could serve two. The slices of sweet, grilled pork slices were piled high on top of the fried rice. It was great. . . until I got to the rice. That was sad. The grains were bunched up and undercooked, crunchy even. No meal that includes a pile of delicious grilled pork can be considered a bad one, but the rice was a serious disappointment.


On my most recent visit, I skipped the rice and ordered bun with grilled beef. Having had noodles in the pho, I knew they wouldn’t mess those up. They were the perfect medium for sopping up the dollops of hot sauces I dropped around the plate.

The beef may not have been the lemongrass-scented meat that I had at a barbecue beer garden on a roof in Saigon, but it was good. A beefier version of the pork chops, with less of the sweetness or seasoning, it hit just the right balance between the beef and the char, which I love.

Clearly, an expedition into the depths of Brooklyn and Queens is in order for me to find anything like what I had in Vietnam, but considering the options available south of Midtown, L’Annam 28 does the job.

Lannan 28, 393 3rd Ave (corner of 28th Street). 212.686.5168.


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    I think it’s L’Annam. Cursive is tricky.

    By the way, I think I had the worst Vietnamese food of my life at L’Annam in Union Square.

  • I am afraid your going to have to venture farther for good Vietnamese. Like Westminster in Southern California. THE best! And the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. I don’t know why NYC Vietnamese food is so lousy. L’Annam made the MOST disappointing bun I’ve ever had.

  • How did I know this would be you, Ultraclay?? This place BLOWS!!!!!! MY cheapass office used to take people here for going away parties until someone got food poisoning….I think you are my food nemesis. Seriously. A war is coming…

  • @Elaine Vietnamese people are too cheap to live in NYC. They would rather live in the burbs than a big city. Thus why the Vietnamese food in NYC is lousy.

    • Half true. It’s much more expensive to live here than we are accustomed to, but you ask any Vietnamese person already in NYC why they haven’t moved out, and they’ll give you the same answer everyone else who loves NYC says “You can’t find this place anywhere else.”

      It’s a lot more convenient to live here. The Vietnamese food here is lousy because most of the restaurants are tainted (for lack of a better word) with Chinese influence.

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    are you kidding?? L’Annam is horrendous. Their pho is some bastardization with chinese glass noodles, and their beef was tough and stale tasting. I went to that place once and vowed never to come back.

    You don’t really have to travel that far for good pho. There are great options a few subway rides away in Chinatown. (Pho Bang, Cong Ly)

  • Haven’t seen backlash like this since Rickshaw Dumpling truck.

  • Not only is their food horrendous, but every time I pass their cellar, even when the doors are closed, it smells like rotting dead people. And several times a couple of those big fat roaches (water bugs?) scurried out of there. Isn’t that where they keep the food? I wouldn’t set foot in there even to hide from zombies.

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    I actually used to frequent this location years ago, but it really is awful now. Does anyone know if they changed ownership a few years back?
    Also, good Vietnamese food really is impossible to find in NYC. In Chinatown, you’ll find a weird Vietnamese-Chinese version, sort of like the ghetto Chinese-American food that’s ubiquitous in the states.

  • They also rape donkeys in the basement and once I saw them behead a customer for wearing a beret

  • pork chops and grilled beef don’t look too bad. you could do far worse than this anyway *ahem* Saigon 48

    • My dad, super old school, took one look at the pork chops and said ‘That looks gross. It’s too white (i.e. undercooked.” Hahaha. I have to agree with him. It looks like they boiled the meat and then drew lines on it with charcoal.

  • I don’t know… just the fact that the pho has tendon in it, is a huge plus. (And charlierock is totally right about the places in Chinatown.)

    What the fuck do you know Clay? You were only *in* Vietnam a few weeks ago… If there’s better Vietnamese in the Midtown/Flatiron I’m sure Clay would love to hear about it! LOL

    • Just because we’re in NYC doesn’t mean it’s all good pizza…

      Your point is moot.

      • So you’re working under the assumption that Clay is the Vietnamese equivalent of a fat mid westerner in NYC… eating at the Sbarro’s of Vietnam and thinking he was eating eating the real deal?

        The guy didn’t say the place was great, he just said that it’s the best option near his office to satisfy his cravings for the food he had in Vietnam. Obviously a trip to Westminister would be better…

      • Absolutely not. My understanding is, going anywhere does not make you an authority on anything.

        “What the fuck do you know Clay? You were only *in* Vietnam a few weeks ago”

        I couldn’t tell if that was sarcasm or not, it it was I apologize, if not my point stands.

    • User has not uploaded an avatar

      If someone from Italy told me that Olive Garden was awesome, that wouldn’t make it so.

  • Haha, wow, you guys clearly aren’t fans of L’Annam (thanks for the correction, Dan L.). I’ll keep looking for better options, hopefully convenient to the office.

  • I had their Pho before. Nothing special about Lannam.
    Def. have to go further out for good pho.

    At least nobody tried to sign ultraclay up at Bellevue psych ward for his crazy talk. Haha. J/K

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