We came to Hawaii-ne for Number 18. Discovered by my mother in law in 1992 and subsequently eaten every single day by said mil for 6 MONTHS. It's that good, people. Seriously. It contains - BBQ beef thinly sliced and marinated in something succulent, beef egg rolls fried but not too heavy, cold rice vermicelli noodles, the ubiquitous julienned carrots, daikon radish, shredded lettuces, whole stalks of cilantro and mint leaves, fried shallots. To the left is the sauce bowl with some type of light oil and rice wine vinegar and ? It's a mystery. You have to wait for 18. They make it fresh when you order. It is worth the wait. Sit back, have an iced vietnamese coffee and some chilled shrimp summer rolls to dip in peanut sauce. The 18 will come. And when it comes, pause and smile as Mrs. NYC does above. Then, as Kahlua Pig demonstrates, pour your sauce into the bowl, mix like crazy with chopsticks and eat. Let the spring rolls sink to the bottom. They will soak up all of the savory sauce so that your last bite is even better than the first. How many dishes have you had that can claim they get better as you eat them? That is the magic of number 18.
On a side note, the original owners of Saigon Grill sold to new management somewhere around 2005. When we came to the restaurant on this trip and flipped open the menu we were perplexed to see that No. 18 was no some kind of Pho. What the #%#? Our waiter quickly reassured us that new management had not done in the 18. All the dishes had been reassigned new numbers. 18 was now 81. Does that make it Great? Or Taerg?