It's been many years since I set foot in West Lake, and as I stumbled upon their "new" location (not so new, but new to me) I decided to give it a try.
The ambiance is a great improvement from before. From the menus to decor and comfortable seating, this is definitely a "nicer" looking Vietnamese restaurant. However, the food left a lot to be desired, which reminded me of why I never went back to the original West Lake location. Inauthentic is definitely a good descriptor, but I want to be more specific, because many fusion or "inauthentic / westernized foods" are pretty tasty elsewhere.
The pho lacked flavor. Simple as that. The broth was very plain, as if they forgot the fish sauce, star anise or other main ingredients in making the standard base. It was not as robust and beefy, as with all other pho places. The only plus here is that there is very little MSG used.
The salad roll only featured shrimp, whereas traditional salad rolls have both ham (or pork) and shrimp. This is not fusion or westernized tasty food, but merely cheapening out on the part of the restaurant. Tasteless.
Veggie spring rolls were fried nicely, using authentic rice wrappers, but were really salty which overpowered everything.
Lemon grass chicken on rice was good - although again lacking in the lemongrass department, but the chicken was grilled really nicely - no black or burnt marks at all.
Overall, disappointing experience and will not go back.