A friend of mine took me out to Bar Bao, the new restaurant on the Upper West Side, formerly Rain. The redesigned space looks great; it's very large and very comfortable. The Vietnamese menu helmed by Michael Huynh (Bao 111, Bao Noodles) looks great... on paper. We ordered Daikon Duck Hash ($12), Chili Garlic Tiger Shrimp ($12), Berkshire Pork Belly ($22), Crispy Whole Red Snapper ($27) and Vermicelli Noodles ($14). Also, two desserts, not even worth mentioning.
None of the dishes impressed me. The whole time during our dinner I could not help but think about all those Vietnamese restaurants in Chinatown with better, more flavorful food, for half the price! This is not a good bang for your buck.
My recommendation is you can come for a drink or two if you live in the neighborhood, but then head to Chinatown to fill your Vietnamese food cravings.
100 W. 82nd St. (at Columbus Ave)
New York, NY 10024