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VIETNAMESE

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BASIL LEAF
1438 S. Carrollton Ave. 862-9001
The elegant atmosphere of Basil Leaf complements the beautifully presented entrees. One of the favorites of regulars consists of a whole coconut filled with scallops, shrimp and diced eggplant covered in a savory red curry. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FROSTY'S CAFFE
2800 Manhattan Blvd., Suite B, Harvey 361-9099; 3400 Cleary Ave., Metairie 888-9600
Bubble tea is the current trend that's replacing smoothies, because the drinks are more fun and exotic. Frosty's offers a huge variety of the fruity concoctions with the jelly-like tapioca balls you suck up through a straw. For more substantial and savory fare, check out the barbecue pork with vermicelli noodles. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JAZMINE CAFE
614 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9301
With a menu evenly divided between traditional American breakfast food and Vietnamese specialties, this new restaurant can satisfy both timid and adventurous eaters. For a traditional breakfast, try the deluxe platter with pancakes, sausage, grits and biscuits. Reservations accepted. Call for hours. Credit cards. $

KIM SON
349 Whitney Blvd., Gretna 366-2489
The staff recommends "anything that is salt-baked," especially crab or shrimp. Charcoal-grilled items like beef wrapped in lettuce and rice paper then served with herbs and lemongrass is a specialty. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TAN DINH
1705 Lafayette St., Gretna 361-8008
The chicken noodle soup is popular with the wait staff, as are the tender beef short ribs. Tan Dinh is the only Vietnamese restaurant in the area to offer rice-flour rolls, which are rolled, steamed, filled with shrimp or meat and served with fish sauce, herbs and vegetables. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Cash only. $

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