Best Imperial Rolls - 2008
The myriad varieties of egg roll encountered throughout Asia are more or less trumped by Vietnam's Imperial Roll, a moniker bestowed by the French back in the Indochina era for more than colonialist reasons. It's a nosh fit for royalty, the imperial is, its standard deep-fried rice-papered pork 'n' shrimp dimensions elevated by the crunch of lettuce, zip of fresh herbs, and zing of nuoc cham, the essential Vietnamese dipping sauce. At Pagolac, a sleek, friendly dining spot in Little Saigon, the Imperial Rolls are so lush and savory, you'll never want to suffer through a carton of greasy takeout again. Crisp and piping hot, ribboned with pork, chicken, glass noodles, and taro, they're served on a bed of lettuce, mint, rice noodles, and shredded carrots and cucumber; the idea is to wrap up the works, dunk it in the house's sweet, pungent nuoc cham, and enjoy. Velvety, vivid, sweet, sultry, cool, and crunchy all at once, it's a transporting snack.