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The Early Word on Hanoi House, Formerly Blackbyrd

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Hanoi House
Hanoi House
Photo: Facebook

The Hilton Brothers replaced their Blackbyrd Warehouse concept with Hanoi House, a Vietnamese restaurant with dark, bordello-style decor, about two weeks ago. Does change = improvement in this case? Here's the early word from bloggers, Yelpers, and anyone who gave the restaurant an early assessment.

The Soft Opening Success News: A Prince of Petworth commenter, Tried It, stumbles on the soft opening and likes what he (or she) sees: "The place oozes style with a moody, dark interior and tall, intimate tables and booths. Nice beats at moderate volumes, friendly service and some of the freshest garden rolls I've ever tried. The banh mi were good and I enjoyed the spring rolls as well. " [PoP]

The By-The-Book Banh Mi News: Girl Meets Food stops by and singles out the spring rolls, fried rice and sandwiches. "Banh mi ($7) is done exactly right on a crusty, chewy French baguette that's loaded with earthy pate, fresh cilantro, carrots, a generous spread of Vietnamese mayo and your choice of pork sausage, grilled chicken, beef or pork." [GMF]

The Vegetarian Disappointment News: DC Vegetarian wasn't thrilled with the food at Hanoi House. "It just didn't live up to our expectations. Yes, the fried tofu was spongy and light, but you can't have good pho without good broth." [DCVeg]

The Not Too Modern News: DC-Wrapped Dates was pleased that Hanoi House didn't try to reinterpret Vietnamese cuisine, and stuck to the classics. "Honestly? Yes, there were slight missteps...but all of them were eminently fixable and easily chalked up to the opening night jitters. And most importantly of all, the flavors were all on point and were exemplary in their brightness and their faithfulness to tradition." [DC Wrapped Dates]

The Husband/Wife Pho Debate News: Concrete Jungle and spouse disagree on the Pho broth at Hanoi House. "I really enjoyed my soup. My husband, who is food critic in the making, had a few things to say about the broth. Specifically that was awfully dark compared to the clear broths that we customarily find in a bowl of pho...That doesn't mean it wasn't tasty. That doesn't mean I won't be going back as often as possible." [Concrete Jungle]

The Bring Me More Noodles News: Hanoi House is averaging 2.5 stars on Yelp with 13 reviews. One is from Bobby J., who generally likes the place. "I had the noodles with tofu and herbs and vegetables. It was only $8 and very flavorful. It could've had a bit more noodles to it, but other than that it was fantastic. Very fresh with lots of herbs. If there were more noodles, I probably would give it 5 stars (I'm a hungry guy)." [Yelp]

The Violence Against Hipsters News: Says Yelp writer A.V.: "This place makes me want to kick a hipster. Trendiness does not equate to deliciousness." [Yelp]

The News From Questionable Chicken Pho Eaters: Chris P. likes the design at Hanoi House, but he and his dining companions depart on the food. " I didn't really enjoy the basic pho bo. My friend loved the chicken pho. She said it was the best she ever had, but you can't trust chicken pho eaters :P." [Yelp]

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