Kim Son, one of the best-known Vietnamese restaurants in the Houston area, has done a great deal to help popularize that cuisine here. Perhaps more accessible than most other local Vietnamese restaurants, the food is almost always very satisfying. The voluminous menu lists more than 250 items and is packed with tempting choices, many of which are about $10. The offerings are mostly Vietnamese, but there are a number of Chinese dishes, too. To begin the meal, excellent appetizers include deep-fried Vietnamese egg rolls and a dozen different soups. The most popular entrées are the flavorful but messy black pepper crabs and the bo nuong xa
, cleverly described as "Vietnamese fajitas." There are scores of Vietnamese dishes served with steamed rice that are meant for communal dining, featuring beef, chicken, duck, pork, fish and shrimp.