Located on the edge of Tremont is a happening little place called Bac Asian American Bistro. Housed in the typical Tremont clapboard building, Bac takes up two narrow spaces with the entrance, bar, and kitchen on one side and the dining room on the other.
The decor has a modern yet comfortable feel to it. Even with a full house, like the night we were there, the noise level was comfortable enough to where you could easily converse with those at your table, but not have to yell.
Our server was very attentive and quite knowledgeable on the various dishes on the menu. Since Regina has food allergies, the server was able to navigate her through the dishes that already had certain components mixed together, and which ones could have the items she was allergic to left off.
We ordered the summer rolls and thought they were just okay. I think we were hoping the peanut sauce had a little more kick to it. I think next time we'd go with the lemongrass crab cakes. Can't say that I've ever had that combo before, so I'd be curious to try it.
Regina ended up going with the Crispy Walnut Shrimp. She thought it was decent, but I suspect that this dish will forever be ruined for her because she had an incredible take on this at Little Village Noodle House in Honolulu's Chinatown. (If you ever go to Hawai'i, Village Noodle is an absolute must and needless to say, so is the Honey Walnut Shrimp.) The portion and execution represented a good value at $15, I just think she has to shelve the idea of comparing them to VNH.
Since the night was cool and wet I decided to go for the Pho Beef Noodle Soup. Admittedly, I am a ramen whore. I admit it. I know - Pho is not ramen. The Vietnamese cousin to ramen melds its cinnamon kissed broth with the hardiness of ever-so-rare, ever-so-thin slices of beef that cook in the hot soup. Cinnamon is a weird thing with me, I like it in desserts but not savory dishes. I ran into this same problem at Burma Superstar in SF (thankfully it was just their appetizer - great BTW). I thought Bac's iteration was actually much better than some others I've had in Cleveland. In fact, I'd probably go so far as to say it's my favorite (#1 Pho might have to change their name to #2 or possibly #3 Pho), but then again pho is not my expertise.
All told I'd say there is enough stuff on the menu that would keep my attention during future visits. The setting was nice, but not stuffy. The waitstaff was attentive. And the food represented a good value.
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Bac Asian American Bistro
2661 West 14th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113