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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Vietnamese, Chinese
Casual restaurant

Sun–Thu 11:00am–9:30pm
Fri–Sat 11:00am–10:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Far North Austin
8776 Research Blvd.
Austin, TX
(512) 451-5051
Sea Dragon
You’ll have the best luck with the Vietnamese dishes and seafood specials

Sea Dragon’s been open in Austin for decades—long enough to remember when there wasn’t a soul in town who would order a “crispy pork intestine” or whole steamed fish—so you might safely assume it’s contentedly chugging along with Americana-pleasing take-out standards. But the side job of this cavernous strip-mall restaurant is as a banquet hall for Chinese and Vietnamese weddings and New Year’s dinners. Not a bad set of references. Indeed, the exhaustive menu will have plenty of mediocre stuff (like crispy lo mein with syrupy seafood, including krab), but the more authentic dishes are quite delicious.

For best results, stick with Vietnamese and seafood. Bo luc lac’s beef comes a little chewy, but has a great caramelized flavor (it doesn’t come with traditional nuoc man and mint, but it’s pretty good with the tomato and cucumber that accompany it). That pork intestine is nothing to wrinkle your nose at, either; it’s gamy like tripe, but with a better texture, like sausage casing. Steamed red snapper topped with shredded scallion and ginger is worth navigating around the bones for, and softshell crab is cooked expertly. For better pho, or for great Vietnamese in general, head across the highway. But come here with a large group of adventurous or Asian-cuisine-fluent diners looking for variety and seafood (and, by the way, a surprising little wine and beer selection).

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