Restaurant: New Pasteur
Location: Baxter St. (Chinatown)
Along with its neighbors Nha Trang and Thai Son, these are a formidable trio of cheap yet filling restaurants on Baxter St. across from the courthouse.
The place is quite small, and nondescript. Ambiance is non-existent. Service is extremely efficient. The few times I have dined here, the food has always been excellent and remarkable for such a low price (rice dishes are roughly $4-5, huge bowls of pho around $4.50). The last time I had "Com Suon Bi Cha" (barbequed pork chop and shredded pork, steamed egg with white rice) which was a wee bit more expensive at $5.75 but a very satisfying meal (especially for someone starving after burning off calories in a salsa class). The curry shrimp ("Com Tom Xao Cary") is very spicy.
A dessert worth trying is Rainbow Ice, a sweet mixture of three kinds of beans and milk. Hard to beat New Pasteur when dining on the cheap, as tons of jury duty hopefuls have found out.