A good sign that you’ve hit on an authentic Vietnamese restaurant? The menu lists ingredients such as jellyfish, pig blood, and pig ears. Said items grace the menu at DaLat Vietnamese Cuisine on south Federal Boulevard, but the dishes I crave are much tamer.

Ha Tran, chef-owner of the 12-year-old restaurant, calls on genuine flavors and practiced technique. Take one of my favorite entrées, the combination noodle bowl (pictured). Tender grilled shrimp, pork, and beef, and crispy egg rolls are generously portioned over springy rice noodles and crunchy vegetables. The whole dish is garnished with cilantro and freshly toasted peanuts. Jalapeño and chile–laced fish sauce comes on the side, and it’s so well balanced that I never let a drop go to waste.

Another favorite is Tran’s dish of thick rice noodles stir-fried with half-inch thick noodles, scallops, shrimp, squid, and mussels in a ginger-sesame sauce. Follow my lead and order both—along with a Vietnamese 33 Export beer.

940 S. Federal Blvd., 303-935-4141