Sawleaf Vietnamese Cafe 2018-10-13T23:56:04+00:00
Sawleaf logo

What is a Sawleaf?

Sawleaf, which in Vietnamese is “ngò gai” (pronounced “ngaw guy”), is a key ingredient that heightens the fragrance and flavor of our phở. Each leaf is unique, comes directly from the base of the plant, and harbors a rich, bold zest. These thick, jagged leaves, which are also known as culantro, long coriander and spiritweed, are appreciated worldwide for a variety of uses, but we think they go best in a hot bowl of phở!

Our commitment to serving great Vietnamese food

We are committed to making food that not only tastes great, but also is healthy and served quickly.  Our recipes have been passed down for generations and are made with a modern twist, while exhibiting traditional flavor profiles. We use only the highest quality ingredients, never add MSG to any of our dishes. We also have plenty of vegetarian-friendly options available, which are denoted with a symbol.

 Your health is important and we promise to do our part to help you thrive while serving you great Vietnamese food.

Our menu features a selection of flavorful, classic Vietnamese dishes prepared with our own flare.  Our food is prepared fresh with the highest quality ingredients, and we never add MSG to any of our dishes.


Vietnamese food - pho

Select your style of pho!

Our Sawleaf Original recipe

Hue (HWEH) Style:
Central Vietnam spicy lemongrass flavored broth

Roasted Garlic Style:
Freshly roasted garlic infused broth

Select your protein!

  • Premium Beef
  • Savory Chicken
  • Succulent Shrimp
  • Soy-Garlic Tofu

Our signature dish! Made daily from scratch using premium proteins and fresh herbs. Each protein is served in its own unique broth, which undergoes 12+ hours of meticulous simmering to create unique, intense flavors. Served over rice noodles, sliced white onion, chopped spring onion, cilantro and sawleaf, our pho is accompanied by a side of traditional Vietnamese herbs and garnishes – lime, bean sprouts, Thai basil, and jalapeños.

Pronounced “fuh,” pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup.  We add special herbs and spices including star anise, ginger and cloves to make your pho just the way you like it: delicious.

Make sure to try our new deluxe version of our beef pho! This deluxe bowl comes with two cuts of premium beef: Filet Mignon & Eye Round.


Vietnamese food - banh mi

Your choice of:

  • Premium Flank Steak
  • Caramelized Pork
  • Lemongrass Chicken
  • Soy-Garlic Tofu vegetarian

Think of banh mi as a Vietnamese sub sandwich. Our version of this classic is served on a toasted artisanal baguette with your choice of protein, stuffed with fresh vegetables including pickled carrots, crisp bean sprouts and cilantro, and topped with a house-made tangy sriracha aioli sauce. Served with fried jalapeños upon request.

BUN VERMICELLI NOODLE SALADS (Only served at our Irvine Market Place location)

Vietnamese food - bun

Your choice of:

  • Lemongrass Beef
  • Lemongrass Chicken
  • Soy-Garlic Tofu vegetarian

Pronounced “boon,” think of it as a noodle salad.  We add the premium protein of your choice to a bed of vermicelli rice noodles topped with fresh herbs & vegetables including a cut egg roll, shredded pickled carrots, fresh lettuce, and sliced cucumbers. Served with our house-made sweet chili dressing on the side.


Skinny Fries
Topped w/garlic aioli & chopped greens

Chicken Egg Rolls
Three tasty chicken egg rolls

Lemongrass Chicken Fries
Skinny fries, cilantro lime shrimp, sriracha aioli & fried jalapenos

Five Spice Garlic Beef Fries
Skinny fries, flat grilled steak, five spice garlic aioli & fries jalapenos


Specialty drinks:

  • Vietnamese Iced Coffee
  • Sparkling Mint Limeade
  • Cardamom Iced Tea

Other drinks:

  • Assorted Beers
  • Assorted Soft Drinks & Smart Water

Our Vietnamese Iced Coffee is house brewed with bold coffee flavor.  The perfect balance of bitter and sweet.

House-made with freshly squeezed limes and infused with finely chopped Vietnamese mint, our Sparkling Mint Limeade is served over ice and goes great with anything.

Cardamom Iced Tea is sweet and refreshing made from loose black tea leaves to achieve a smooth and rich flavor.


Sawleaf Commitments


The pursuit of fresher and faster Vietnamese food.


The mission is simple! We aim to make Vietnamese food go mainstream by maintaining great tasting food, quality customer service and good energy ambiance!


We are committed to making food that is great for your taste buds and your body!

We don’t cut corners when it comes to preparing your food or giving you the best possible experience.

Giving back to our community is important to us.  We are always looking for ways to make a positive difference.

We strive to constantly improve our work and ourselves.  We welcome any feedback to make the Sawleaf experience better.

We want our guests and team members to be adventurous and try something new each day.  Live life and don’t forget to have fun!


Vietnamese food

Vietnamese food is one of the most diverse, delicious and healthy cuisines across the world.  From well known dishes like pho, banh mi, and spring rolls to lesser known ones like Ca Kho To (carmelized fish in clay pot) and Cháo (rice porridge), the flavor profiles in each dish are unique to Vietnam.

Broadly, Vietnamese dishes typically contain some combination of the following: rice, in many forms (steamed, sticky, noodles, pancakes, porridge), aromatic herbs (sawleaf, mint, cilantro, etc.), seafood, pork, beef, chicken, and tropical fruits (rambutan, banana, papaya, mango, etc.), with some borrowed flavors from French gastronomy and nearby countries like Cambodia, Thailand, and China. And don’t forget fish sauce, a popular flavoring ingredient, that is also used in Nước mắm, which is traditionally served with most dishes for dipping.

Most dishes fall under broad categories. “Bánh” (which generally translates to “bread” or “cake”) includes a wide variety of cakes, buns, sandwiches, and other food items, prepared in a variety of ways including steaming, baking, frying, and boiling. On the other hand, the “bún” family involves rice vermicelli in some form (whether with pork, as in bún chả, or the various noodle soups, such as bún rieu). “Gỏi” is synonymous with salad, and in Vietnam they’re typically made with things like mango or unripe green papaya.

The variety in Vietnamese food means there is no shortage of new things to try. We hope you’ll begin your journey at Sawleaf.

Vietnamese food culture

Like in many cultures around the world, food plays an important role in Vietnamese culture, too. In Vietnam, food and the consumption thereof, serves as a tool that allows families to strengthen ties and friends to reminisce and share new experiences. While there are many excellent restaurants throughout Vietnam, we believe street food in particular to be the most exciting and the best representation of the diversity that Vietnamese food offers.  Others happen to agree with us.

Eating and drinking on the streets is very popular in both large urban cities, like at the Ben Thanh night market in Ho Chi Minh City and throughout Hanoi, and smaller rural communities. Chefs and street food vendors prepare food on demand in front of customers and many street cafes provide seating (usually small plastic stools) on the sidewalk for diners to enjoy their meals, giving diners a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, both tourists and locals alike.

We’re doing our best to bring the best parts of the Vietnamese street food experience (especially the bright, bold flavors of the food, healthy ingredients, and fun element) west and give people the opportunity to experience something different! While nothing could replicate the actual experience of eating street food in Vietnam, we think eating at Sawleaf is the next best thing.


Our Summer Sawleaf Specials!


Pho, banh mi, bun, and beer all in one place? Sawleaf Vietnamese Café at The Market Place is the place to be this summer with great food and amazing offers for everyone to enjoy.

Sawleaf Vietnamese Café offers a variety of delicious menu items that are made from the sawleaf, which is the key ingredient in their dishes because it heightens the fragrance and flavor of their pho. They use only the highest quality ingredients and MSG is never added. Their recipes have been passed down for generations and made with a modern twist. There are also many vegetarian-friendly options available on their menu. Stop by and enjoy these summer specials, offered until September 22:

For even more fun, get a FREE t-shirt or polo with Sawleaf‘s limited edition two-leafed logo with a purchase of $20 and over to celebrate their Pick Two Combo and $2 beer specials.


Lifestyle Food Shot

July 5th, 2017|

Kids eat FREE Thursdays ALL SUMMER!

We’ve just introduced our “Just for kid’s menu” and to celebrate, Kids (under 10) will eat FREE on Thursdays for the whole summer! Each kids meal comes with an apple juice box! Offer ends when summer does (September 22nd) so don’t miss this offer!


June 19th, 2017|

Check out our Irvine location in 3D!

Have you had the chance to check out our new location in Irvine just yet? If not, take a sneak peak with our 3D space viewer in the link below!

3D Irvine Location

3D Sawleaf Space Travel!

Come by and check us out for real as well!

June 16th, 2017|

OC Weekly Sawleaf Feature!

PHO the Masses!

Several weeks ago we were mentioned in a great article in the OC Weekly. It touches on our key vision in starting this concept. We wanted to create a brand that would be able share Vietnamese food and culture to a broad audience. By using quality fresh ingredients, a fast casual dining format (order food first at the counter), focused energetic ambiance and selecting highly accessible locations we plan to be the first Vietnamese fast casual restaurant chain! The article in question is below and is a great read!

OC Weekly: Sawleaf helping Vietnamese food become mainstream

Lifestyle Food Shot

Take a look and let us know your thoughts below in the comments!


June 14th, 2017|

Irvine Market Place

13786-C Jamboree Rd.
Irvine, CA 92602

Get Directions to Irvine Market Place

Sun. – Thurs.: 11a – 9p
Fri. – Sat.: 11a – 10p

Additional Southern California locations coming soon!

Get in touch!

We love hearing feedback or suggestions from our guests.  Please use this form to ask us any questions or tell us about your experience at Sawleaf and how we can make it better next time.  Your satisfaction is very important to us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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