24 12th St. N.W.
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Rating: *** 1/2
Price range: $3 to $9
This cheery spot has a modern look to match its modern take on Vietnamese.
Kol3 specializes in banh xeo, a stuffed Vietnamese crepe that looks like an omelette but is made of rice flour and turmeric. Their traditional version ($9) is filled with plump shrimp, bean sprouts and your choice of pork, chicken or beef.
This refreshing lunch gets a kick from fresh mustard leaves, basil and lettuce. Take a bite and dip in the accompanying fish sauce. Deelish!
Other banh xeo get more westernized fillings. The bacon cheeseburger one actually works with ground beef, cheese, bacon, onion, tomato, pickles and the fresh herbs. Ketchup replaces the fish sauce.
The Vietnamese sub ($9) is updated with a delicious moist, flaky basa filet crisped with a panko crust and dressed with mayo and wasabi. Mark my words, this is more addictive than the sate beef variety.
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