Chef and owner Larry McGuire is often faulted for his restaurants' high price tags, but there are definitely ways to maneuver his spots without spending a million. At this Vietnamese-French fusion restaurant, start off traditional with an order of spring rolls, like the poached shrimp and vermicelli with peanut dipping sauce ($12). Then move on to a big bowl of rich spicy pork meatball pho ($12) with thick meatballs in a decadent broth filled with fresh herbs grown in the backyard garden. One of the best parts about this South First Street spot is their dessert menu, the stuff of French dreams. Try the croissant bread pudding ($8) with banana custard, duck-egg-and-palm-sugar ice cream and candied hazelnuts.
1501 S. First St.; 512-291-2881