Mint & Basil
1741 N. Milpitas Blvd.
Milpitas, CA 95035
I was craving vegetarian food and decided to try this out after getting recommendations from family and friends. I was, of course, skeptical at first, especially since I’m a meat lover, but I was in the mood for a light dinner and this fit the criteria. We got to the restaurant around 6:30pm and were seated immediately. It started getting really packed after we ordered our food, so I’m thankful we beat the rush. The atmosphere of the restaurant is very cute with a cafe-sort of feel to it. I love all the green colors that brightened up the restaurant. The owners are Vietnamese but they have a very diverse staff who are all friendly.
We ordered the Autumn Rolls (nem nuong, for those who are familiar), ThaiBinh Curry with rice, and Rock n Roll Beef Salad (bo luc lac). I was very curious to see how they would make the “meat” fo these items. Our Autumn rolls came out quickly and it looked like what you would get a Brodard in Orange County, complete with the crispy fried rolled up paper in the roll.
I couldn’t believe my tastebuds when I bit in these, the texture and taste were just like nem nuong, but there was no oil and it wasn’t as salty – which is a health thing! The dipping sauce was also on par with what you would get at any other nem nuong place, complete with the chunks of “meat” in it. I loved how they packed the rolls with fresh veggies and salad as well. It was a great start to dinner.
Next came the ThaiBinh curry, which was rich, creamy, spicy, and full of flavor. It had bell peppers, eggplant, “chicken”, mushrooms, and fishcake-like tofu pieces in it. The spice intensity was just perfect for me and my boyfriend with aftertastes of the familiar thai basil and lemongrass. I really enjoyed it, since it reminded me of a thicker version of tom kha (which I wish they had).
My beef salad took a while to come out, and the cook delivered it to our table and apologized that it took so long, but they had re-arranged the table numbers so the orders were mixed up. This was what I had been waiting for, sauteed beef over salad with bell peppers and onions, drizzled in their homemade strawberry mango vinaigrette. I was especially curious to taste the meat, which is usually super tender and flavorful in traditional Bo Luc Lac recipes. This dish didn’t disappoint! The flavors were not lacking at all, especially with the delicious vinaigrette. My only complaint would be that the “beef” was a little stringy.
The both of us easily finished all the food, especially since it was so light and delicious. Our bill came out to be $30 for all 3 dishes before tax and tip. They have a promotion right now where you can get 10% off if you check in on Facebook, Instagram, or Yelp. Even without the discount, this will be one of my regular go-to places for vegetarian food because of how amazing all the dishes were. I have my eye on some of those hot pot deals that they offer as well.