Turns out the joint is named Red Medicine because of the hot and spicy nature of the food, and it's therapeutic, healing effects. In reality, Vietnamese has lighter and some would say, more feminine flavors than other Asian food, but "Red" also connotes good fortune, success and honor.
Here is the dinner menu for you to peruse. It is sectioned off into cold plates, hot plates, small plates and large plates. Of course, the dessert menu is unbelievable and another story all together.
Combined with the exquisitely fine crepe and the garlic and mushrooms thrown in, that element of earth manages to ground it all as your taste buds soar.
You take the meat and dunk it in the citrusy and light fish sauce, and then layer it inside the lettuce cup. Then you top it with a few rounds of sweet pickles, sliced carrots, marinated radish and a medley of herbs like parsley and mint.
One bite and you will understand. The flavors blend together like a cascading waterfall that washes over you and carries you away to a Vietnamese paradise.
I truly enjoyed these charred and earthy flavors. The tinge of bitterness from the lettuce and licorice-like scent of the fennel added an interesting and subtle twist to the dish. A ten for creative presentation and flavor.
The only crime that counts is to leave without trying a dessert.
Red Medicine is a cool dinner spot. There's always a buzz in the air and the cocktails are ultra creative. We're talking tamarind sours and rye based drinks shaken with pickled peppers and fennel fronds. The staff is attentive and knowledgeable and the food is great. And for a late night snack at 1am, I'd rather tear into a Banh Mi sandwich here then drive to Little Saigon. I'm a big fan of fusion cuisine, and dinner at Red Medicine is just what the Doctor ordered.