I love the freshness of Vietnamese cuisine and the flavors that swirl in my mouth. Having eaten my way through Vietnam, I think the food should be intensely fresh and wonderfully inexpensive. Mau gets delightfully close, and wins for ambiance over most local Vietnamese restaurants (you know the kind with icky-sticky table tops!).
For me, the true test of good Vietnamese is the flavor of the broth in a good bowl of Pho. Having nailed it, I went back for more! This time, Bun Thit Nuong, grilled lemongrass pork over vermicelli noodles and I added the crispy-fried cha gio roll (because who can resist?). We also always share the Hue Rolls filled with grilled lemongrass pork, shiso, mint, scallion oil, fried shallots, steamed rice roll. If it were up to me, MAU would mean delicious in Vietnamese!
Mau’s location on Valencia street makes it a terrific spot for lunch in the Mission so you can stroll the neighborhood before or after. At the very least, try to get a seat at the window and watch all that is San Francisco walk by, what a fright-sight! You’d never see that in Vietnam!