I hadn’t seen my friend since high school. If you’re keeping track, that’s a really long time. We just kinda drifted apart and stopped hanging out. You know how it goes with life: kids, marriages, jobs. Just life, you know.
So, when we reconnected a few weeks ago, we decided to meet up for lunch. I let him pick the place.
“You like Vietnamese food?” He asked.
“I think that would be an excellent choice. I love Vietnamese food.”
“Cool. I’ll meet you at Le Sen in West Linn.”
I love West Linn. It’s where I grew up and every time I go there, it takes me to my fabulous childhood there. Le Sen Vietnamese Grill is located in the West Linn central Village just down the hill from West Linn High School (go Lions!) as part of a rock covered strip mall. I met my buddy and hugs were exchanged.
Inside, the ambiance had the feel of a fine dining experience but without the stuffiness or the expense. Soft lights and dark hued walls highlighted with pleasant yellow, and comfortable chairs set the tone for a truly pleasant experience.
And then the food came.
“My treat,” he said.
“Damn straight,” I said.
I didn’t give the full truth about my friend. In fact, when we were kids he tormented me. Bullied me to no end. I’ve been pleased that we reconnected and have become friends. Time heals many wounds, and food sometimes helps with that process. Especially delicious food paid for by someone else.
One of the things that can be troubling about Asian type foods is the MSG and artificial flavorings. There is none of that at LeSen. The food is fresh and delicious. It tastes as if it was made to order. I didn’t ask if it was. But sometimes you just know.
A couple of wraps, a bowl of soup, some seasoned chicken and fish. We tried it all. Everything was locally sourced and delicious. Flavor exploded in our mouths (or at least mine.) and we were able to catch up. We didn’t talk about the past, where I was bullied by him, and that’s okay. Why revisit something so ugly? No, what Le Sen did for us was to help us connect anew, like old friends should.
So, between he delicious food and the company, I loved my experience Le Sen and West Linn: I don’t think these things could ever disappoint. But, I don’t want to build either up too much. Check it out yourself.
Le Sen is located in the West Linn Central Village about fifteen minutes from downtown Portland. Check it out.