SOMI Vietnamese Bistro has found an interesting way to appeal to the diverse array of diners in Sugar House–from college students, Sugar House residents and visitors alike.
The menu at SOMI is heavy on Vietnamese flavors in the form of steaming Vietnamese pho and vermicelli noodle bowls. The bun dac biet, or SOMI vermicelli, is a flavor-packed vermicelli noodle bowl loaded with sliced pork, moist chicken and mouthwatering short ribs. Part salad and part noodle bowl that’s finished with a kicky chili vinaigrette dressing, the rounds of fresh cucumber counter pickled daikon plus a fried spring roll make this meal both filling and flavorful.
Three varieties of Vietnamese pho including the generously sized SOMI noodle soup (pho dac biet) with traditional beef offerings of flank, brisket and meatballs swimming in an earthy broth stand up to Utah’s bone-chilling winters.
The tender, boneless short ribs from the noodle bowl can also be ordered as a protein option for rice dishes–highlighting a soy marinade that gives depth to the meat.
Vegetarians needn’t worry about limited options at SOMI as the lightly fried tofu soaked up all the right flavors from the surrounding ingredients.
A daily lunch special option is served between 11:00 am and 3:30 pm with offerings that are primarily Americanized Chinese in nature–perhaps a nod to owner Michael Eng’s previous employment at Panda Express. Moo shu chicken highlights stir-fried vegetables and moist shreds of chicken that can be arranged inside the provided pancakes and rolled or folded before eating. Stir-fried broccoli with shrimp delivers plump crustaceans in just the right amount of sauce, balanced with plenty of tender broccoli florets. Any of the lunch special items can be ordered at dinner-size portions for an additional $4.
SOMI’s main dishes are on the expensive side but include a creamy honey walnut shrimp encased in sugary goodness alongside candied walnuts, bok choy and asparagus while the Shaking Beef (bo luc lac) is perfectly marinated for velvety tender bites and delivered searing hot from the wok.
A broad selection of starters range from spicy curry chicken dumplings to crispy spring rolls filled with savory ground pork and mushrooms.
Don’t overlook the beverages either. Enjoy a Vietnamese iced coffee or Thai iced tea or peruse the cocktail menu—made primarily with local liquors. Try a Singapore Sling with tangy pineapple juice and cherry brandy and featuring Beehive Distilling gin. The Saigon flip nods to Sugar House rum and vanilla-esque Licor 43 mixed with lime juice, condensed milk, egg white and club soda.
If you’re in the neighborhood, SOMI is a good choice for flavorful Asian selections and high-end cocktails in a beautifully designed restaurant.
SOMI is at 1215 E. Wilmington Ave., Salt Lake City, UT 84106