There is both a new menu and a fresh look at Le Soleil, a Vietnamese restaurant in the Richmond District that closed for a six-month retool. Chef Dennis Wong has a light approach to his food that largely puts an emphasis on simple and natural flavor combinations, but the quail appetizer ($7 for a half bird) is admittedly a bit of a fiery scene-stealer.
A soy and ginger marinaded bird is ignited tableside with the help of Bacardi 151 rum, and sometimes the flames leap dangerously close for your comfort. The end result, dunked in a buttery sauce spiked with lemon, is sweet, tart, and succulent, with ever-so-slightly crisped skin. Other flambéed dishes lack the showmanship and the flavor of this prize-winning bird.
State Bird Provisions may be getting all the quail buzz in this town, but this is a serious contender too.