But first of all, Truong worked for several years in the fashion and retail industry, notably for Nordstrom and Levi’s. She left a position at Levi’s in Chicago to return to St. Louis and opened the original DD Mau on Dorsett Road just east of Interstate 270. DD Mau’s format is fast-paced and casual, its food are familiar – pho, banh mi, vermicelli bowls – but personal. When I first wrote about the restaurant three years ago, I noted my surprise and joy to find that the shrimp in my spring roll order were hot, not refrigerated, smelled like grilling and of buttery brine that spread to the Webster Groves. site.
The new DD Mau has taken over the Old Webster space previously occupied by the Firenza Pizza chain. Functional best describes the dining area. To be fair, however, Truong didn’t complete the space. She still works at a separate counter where customers can order boba tea.
If a visit to the Webster Groves storefront is also your introduction to DD Mau, the range of menu choices can seem daunting at first glance. In reality, however, you are simply choosing your base, your main ingredient, and in some cases, a sauce. For the selections of bowls (salad, rice or vermicelli), bao sliders and spring rolls, the menu even offers a table with arrows to guide you in your options.
So you can pair the aforementioned shrimp spring rolls with the mild chili sauce, just moderate enough in its sweetness and spices that the shrimp remains the most important flavor. Dress a bowl overflowing with vermicelli and tender steak or pork with the tangy Vietnamese dressing (Truong’s nuoc cham) or the slow heat of the spicy peanut vinaigrette. As much as your choice of protein and sauce, what makes your bowl of vermicelli is the generous garnish of crisp fresh and pickled vegetables.