December 10, 2007
Sacramento Soup on National Stage

When the January issue of Bon Appetit magazine hits newsstands soon, a Sacramento treasure will be getting some long overdue national recognition. The magazine's "dish of the year" is Asian noodle soup, and to illustrate the rising popularity of ramen, udon, soba and pho, the magazine's editors called upon Sacramento restaurateur and cookbook author Mai Pham to prepare her "spicy curry noodle soup with chicken and sweet potato."

The soup is so stunningly photographed the scent of lemongrass, ginger, shallots, garlic, coconut and curry practically simmer from the page.

At Pham's Lemon Grass Asian Grill and Noodle Bar inside La Bou along Howe Avenue, the dish is listed as the selections "chicken kao soi" and "tofu kao soi" ($7.25 each). After pad thai, they are among the cafe's more popular dishes.

At her Lemon Grass Restaurant along Munroe, the sauce in the dish in Bon Appetit is basically the same sauce in "monk's curry" ($12.75), the restaurant's most popular vegetarian entree.

Not often does national media picture Sacramento at the forefront of a culinary development, but maybe this is just the first sign of more recognition to come in the new year.

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