Blu Basil Wine and Grill, a contemporary Vietnamese restaurant, is the perfect place if you are seeking a more laid back and relaxing place to enjoy a meal with family, have lunch with friends or even grab a bite to eat and unwind after work or school. 

Upon entry, I was greeted with friendly smiles, handed a menu and seated at a dining table. The ambiance was very relaxed and inviting. Three small televisions lined the wall behind the bar making it have a slight sports bar feel.

The positioning of the dining tables gives diners enough privacy to enjoy their meals. There are also plenty of seating areas on the patio for patrons who are wanting to enjoy their meals outside. 

From Phở and creative dishes like the bulgogi beef nachos to your classic side salads and stir-fry noodles, Blu Basil Wine and Grill offers a unique blend of traditional Vietnamese and modern-day flavors. The restaurant’s menu is pretty long, but it contains mostly soups, salads and noodle dishes. 

The menu options are reasonably priced with the appetizers ranging between $6–$12, main dishes between $6–$21, desserts between $2–$6 and non-alcoholic beverages between $2–$5. 

When I visited this restaurant, I began my meal by ordering the sriracha kimchi fries from the list of appetizers. This dish is an excellent choice for an appetizer. The french fries were served hot, topped with tender bulgogi beef, kimchi, a sunny side up egg, sriracha and a spicy mayo sauce. 

Before ordering, I was not sure that I would enjoy the kimchi, which is a traditional Korean vegetable dish that consists of vegetables such as Korean radish and napa cabbage. However, after the first few bites I was thoroughly surprised by how flavorful and rich this dish was. 

For my entrée, I decided to order the classic phở after hearing good reviews about the dish all over TikTok. Phở, pronounced “fuh,” is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that consists of bone broth, rice noodles, meat and is garnished with herbs. 

While phở is served in different flavors such as chicken, seafood, beef and tofu, the beef flavor is the most popular. When ordering beef flavored phở, you will have the option to choose from various meats including brisket, beef tendon, beef eye round, beef meatball and beef tripe. 

When my dish arrived, it was served steaming hot in a thick, ceramic bowl along with chopsticks and a spoon. The soup was very aromatic. The beef broth was flavored with onions, scallions, cilantro, herbs and spices. The soup itself was served with rice noodles, bean sprouts, lime, green onions, purple onions, basil, sriracha and hoisin sauce. 

While I was very excited to try this dish to see what all the hype was about, after the first few tastes I was left unimpressed. I think it was the unique texture and taste that I was not used to. For me, the strong taste of the purple onions took away from the taste of the noodles. 

Although I did not have the best first experience with phở, I am open to trying it again. This time, I will order a small bowl as the serving size is more than generous. I found myself overwhelmed by the huge portion size and had to package the rest to take back home with me.

The customer service was outstanding. I was served in a timely fashion and the waitress who served me was very attentive and informative about each dish I ordered. Every part of the restaurant, even the bathroom, was clean and neat. 

Blu Basil Wine and Grill is located in Lafayette at the address: 5451 Johnston St. Make sure to stop by and try some authentic, modern Vietnamese cuisine and a relaxing dining experience.