At Rose VL Deli on Southeast Powell Boulevard, a family portrait hangs on the wall. At the center, an older couple sits surrounded by their children and grandchildren: Christina Luu and her husband, William Vuong, the culinary power couple behind legendary Vietnamese restaurants Rose VL and Ha VL. Luu, a James Beard Award semfinalist, served rotating regional Vietnamese dishes over the course of her career, including harder-to-find options like cao lau, a chewy noodle dish from the country’s Quảng Nam province. Soups change daily at both restaurants, though Portland chefs and food nerds often have a favorite bowl on a specific day — Saturday mi quang at Rose VL, Thursday snail noodle soup at Ha VL.
While Luu has been the clear culinary matriarch, the restaurants have always been a family affair: son Peter Vuong has owned and run Ha VL since 2015, and many of the Vuong-Luu family members have been spotted in the kitchen or among the restaurants’ tables. In May, Luu died at home, her husband with her, following a cancer diagnosis. This fall, however, the family behind Rose VL Deli and Ha VL will keep their legacy alive, opening a third restaurant on Southeast Belmont on November 4.
Annam VL is set to take over the space once home to fish and chips shop Batterfish, serving “classic Vietnamese soups seen in our previous restaurants” and “unfamiliar regional soups we’ve enjoyed as a family,” according to the burgeoning restaurant’s Instagram. Portland food blog Bridgetown Bites spotted the nascent Instagram, which also notes that the restaurant will “showcase small street food dishes throughout the seasons.”
The restaurant comes from Phuong La-Vuong and Han Vuong, one of Luu and Vuong’s sons. Back in 2019, news broke that Han would open a restaurant with his parents in Beaverton, though that restaurant has yet to come to fruition. It’s unclear if this Belmont restaurant will open in lieu of the Beaverton restaurant; Han Vuong has yet to respond to requests for comment. It’s also unclear, at this point, which specific soups the new restaurant will sell. However, it appears details should be coming very soon: “We are anticipating a fast turnaround into mid-fall as we renovate and prepare for our opening,” a post reads. “If the doors are propped opened while we are renovating, feel free to come and xin chào [say hi].”
This story will be updated with more information. Annam VL will be located at 3336 SE Belmont Street.
Updated 11:40 a.m. Wednesday, October 25, 2023: This story has been updated to include Annam VL’s opening date.