Since I moved to the north Lake Highlands area, and because I dig Asian food, I’ve been checking out some of the under-the-radar spots near Richland College. I wrote about Bistro B a while back—it’s pretty good, though a bit overstated.

Last week, I discovered Pho 95, a calmer, less-crowded Vietnamese gem in the same strip center (at Walnut and Audelia). I am just giddy over this place — I went at about 8:30 p.m. On the patio, one table of college-age diners with a dog chatted casually, and a cute young family of four sat inside. Other than that, my daughter and I had the place to ourselves (she was immediately psyched because one of two wall televisions was tuned to Disney Channel).I hear though, that the place is bustling at lunchtime.

She ordered a vermicelli bowl with marinated thinly sliced grilled chicken in peanut sauce. The noodles were ample; the protein plentiful. The dish was topped with leaf lettuce, fresh veggies and roasted peanuts. Perfect plate for a growing tween, and there was plenty left over, even though she was hungry. I had lightly sautéed shrimp skewers atop a bed of steamed rice with fresh cucumbers, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and carrots—it was garlicky/not too spicy but flavorful and satisfying. I loved that a third of the small table was occupied with a selection of hot and soy sauces, mustard and various condiments, because I like experimenting with this stuff.

The service was good, and the chef delivered the food to the table, which I always appreciate—it’s a sign that he takes pride in his work.

Best part, it cost me about as much as dinner at Subway.

Pho 95 . 9780 Walnut . 214.644.6995 (map)