We were delighted to interview Dang Nguyen, the creative force behind Lafayette's Saigon Noodles, Blu Basil, and Soul Haus Restaurants. Together with his partner, Dang has brought three distinctive dining experiences to the city.
Dang, along with his brother-in-law and business partner Chris Nguyen, launched Saigon Noodles in May 2011. This venture was influenced by Dang's Vietnamese heritage, his mother's recipes, and his time in Vietnamese-rich California. Guided by culinary advice from his uncle, Dang brought one of the first Vietnamese restaurants to Lafayette. Today, Saigon Noodles continues to flourish, with their Beef Noodle Soup being Dang's top pick.
Visit Saigon Noodles here: http://www.saigonnoodleslafayette.com/
Food of Saigon Noodles
February 2015 saw the debut of Blu Basil, Dang's second brainchild. After Saigon Noodles' success, he desired a larger eatery/bar concept. Blu Basil presents a fusion of Chinese, Korean, and American cuisine in a laid-back, cocktail-friendly environment. This restaurant, one of the first in town to serve hot pot dishes, combines Vietnamese and Chinese flavors. Dang's top recommendations at Blu Basil include Kimchi Fries and Crispy Noodles with Beef.
Fun fact: Dang and his brother-in-law spent nine months building the interior of Blu Basil.
Explore Blu Basil here: https://www.blubasilwineandgrill.com
Food Of Blu Basil
Soul Haus KitchenSoul Haus Kitchen, unveiled in September 2022, as a venture with his cousin Hoang Nguyen and Ronald Pham. veers from Dang's previous concepts, presenting local flavors in a fast-food-esque plate lunch style. With a spacious dining area and a drive-thru, this establishment offers Cajun favorites thanks to Dang's experience cooking local cuisine in Alexandria at his family's store. His top picks at Soul Haus include Oxtails, Surf & Turf Yakamein, Snow Crab and seasonal crawfish, which start boiling at 2PM daily.
Check out Soul Haus here: https://www.soulhauskitchen337.com
Food of Soul Haus
Dang expressed credit the entire staff, from all managers, wait staff cooks and dishwashers in all locations and says it would be impossible without them. “Thank you 🙏🏼”—Dang. He also expressed graciously thanks to the foodie community that has helped make his restaurants a success.
Dang, driven by love, moved to Lafayette where he and his wife, Tam, raise their two sons, Tatum (5) and Grayson (6). His family life and culinary passion significantly enhance Lafayette's food scene. Keep rocking, Dang!