Like a tongue on a flagpole in February, fusion cuisine results from curiosity and a shortage of popsicles. Rein in restless taste buds with today’s Groupon to 19Market. Choose between the following options:
- For $15, you get $30 worth of Vietnamese fusion fare. <p>
- For $50, you get $100 toward catering service.<p>
Extracting tantalizingly harmonious Vietnamese and Californian tastes from hand-selected ingredients, head chef Hanna Pham crafts award-winning dishes for an amiable dinner menu in a casual, warm setting. Seafarers can navigate tongue sails toward the calamari crunch ($9) or the salmon cigars rolled in seaweed ($10), and beefquistadors can vanquish the bountiful sesame-soy succulence of the Korean barbecue short ribs ($10). Ripe mango and sweet and sour sauce tart up sautéed slices of breast meat in the mango chicken ($14), and the teriyaki duck ($20) roasts a boneless mallard underneath a savory glaze of sauce. Vegetarians seek solace with the pho ap chao ($17), hiding herbaceous taste buds beneath a blanket of fresh Asian greens and crispy-edge rice-noodle twigs. Bar staff fills glasses or cupped hands with drinks—many of which pair nicely with the dashing entrees—from the restaurant’s stocked and expertly curated bar. A glass of 2009 Argentine malbec terrazas ($9) makes a fine accomplice to grilled salmon with spicy green beans ($18) before a night spent climbing telephone poles for fun.
A ruby awning and red-brick exterior welcome diner to the stylish and modern chamber bedecked with warm, earthy tones and dark wood that put patrons in a state of constant bear hug. Party-planners can peruse the catering menu to find large quantities of comestibles for celebratory events or holiday gatherings. Bulk appetizer orders, such as the crab and avocado spring rolls ($55 for 40 pieces; $105 for 80 pieces), circulate through galas as hors d’oeuvres, and entrees send secret instructions from radio-equipped chafing dishes filled with mango beef ($75 for half tray; $145 for full tray) or lemongrass tofu ($40 for half tray; $75 for full).
As a child, Hanna Pham watched her mother cook traditional dishes in their family's kitchen in Vietnam, measuring the aromatic spices and cooking marinated shaking beef in her wok. Though she was named one of 11 Top Female Chefs in the Bay Area by the Wave magazine in 2007, Pham first worked as a graphic designer and later as an international professional singer before opening Clay Pot, a traditional Vietnamese restaurant. After noticing the youthfulness of the area, Pham decided to transform the Clay Pot into the contemporary 19Market, adding a modern Californian twist to her Vietnamese dishes to complement the new décor of earthy tones and dark wood accents.
In the kitchen, Chef Pham draws on her roots as she prepares her signature shaking beef, which she learned from her mother, tossing cubes of filet mignon in a wok with onions, garlic, and black pepper. In the dining room, patrons sip house cocktails such as the lychee martini or glasses of wine from the extensive list while listening to the melodic scales of live jazz music.