Before opening Sochi, Chinh Pham and Son Do had never run a restaurant, which is astounding, considering how the couple’s maiden effort hits all the right notes. The setting, bright and airy, is easy on the eyes. The servers perform their moves with skill. The kitchen never seems to back up, even when the place is hopping — though this food would be worth waiting for. The spring rolls are velvety to the touch and come with a funked-up peanut sauce that gives you that great Vietnamese one-two punch of fresh crunch and umami. You can’t miss the egg rolls, fried in crackly rice paper and set up with bundles of lettuce, herbs, and veggies to wrap them in. The left side of the menu is the sweet spot, with a fantastic duck and banana blossom salad and wings that redefine “crispy.” But save room for the tender shaking beef with beef marrow fried rice and, to finish, a slice of airy cheesecake capped with fruit jelly, made daily by Pham’s mother.
1358 W. Belmont Ave., Lake View