Riding an urge for Vietnamese fixins, we went down to Phat Dat in San Jose based on some positive internet reviews. Despite ordering four different dishes, there wasn't any one plate or bowl that was good top to bottom. Each had something appealing, but also had a downfall. To wit (from best to worst):
Sweet and sour catfish:
The good: It had huge chunks of catfish, the soup was hot in temperature and it came with rice on the side
The so-so: Lots of MSG
The good: The fried egg was a nice bonus not often seen with this dish elsewhere
The bad: Dylan thought the dish was salty, though Jenny thought it was fine. Dylan hardly touched his lunch.
Chicken noodle soup:
The good: It got Tyler full on $5 and it had a lot of chicken. It came in a big bowl.
The bad: Noodles clumped together. I needed two forks to separate them.
Crab tomato soup:
The so-so: Lots of different ingredients, forming an ill-defined hodge podge. There was crab, ground pork and ribs. The fish sauce flavor was a bit strong.
Jenny was less than thrilled.
The bad: The noodles were mushy.
The service was attentive, but what stands out about Phat Dat is the value. The amount of catfish that came with my dish was monstrous. We filled up on four dishes for under $30 including tax. Despite the ups and downs with each dish, I'd make myself a regular if Phat Dat were nearby. Also, the variety (e.g. crab tomato soup, sweet and sour catfish) adds to the intrigue.
460 E William St
San Jose, CA 95112