BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT - 2002
A tiny little underdog with a tiny little menu and great big bowls, Jasmine Deli is one of the biggest satisfactions of the past year. The beef bùn noodle salad boasts a dozen components of startling freshness, the bánh m" sandwiches are creative and prettily presented (and cost less than $3). Details of greatness abound: Meatball soups are flecked with smoky bits of fried garlic; chicken noodle soups are made with tasty top-shelf chicken; spring rolls are twisted to order; ramekins of sauce and garnish give the dining experience the bit of grace you hope for in a restaurant. Sticky-rice desserts steamed in banana leaves bring Vietnamese dining to a new level.