Restaurant Review: Mi Xao

1055 SC-41, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466


Mason ordered the tofu stir fry, and Jack ordered the steamed dumplings.

Introduction (Jack)

For our second edition of the new season of Restaurant Review, Davis and I decided to continue our culinary journey by discovering an Asian restaurant. What did we find? Our search led us to Mi Xao, a Vietnamese eatery tucked away by the intersection of Highway 41 and Route 17. In terms of experience, I had been to Mi Xao once before on a friend’s recommendation, and from what I could remember it was some of the best authentic Vietamese in the lowcountry. For Davis it was his first time, but we both went into this review with a lack of expectations in order to remain as unbiased as possible. We were also accompanied by Davis’ brother and fellow Talon staff writer Mason Leath, who was there both for the food and to give his own thoughts on the experience. 


Food (Davis)

It is rare that I have the opportunity to eat authentic Vietnamese food in Charleston. Most of the time, canned noodles and chicken broth are passed off as authentic pho. Mi Xao, however, presented us with fresh, hot dishes from the hands of a chef who clearly cares about his food and its authenticity. 

Looking at the menu, it is easy to see why Mi Xao would be a family favorite. With options such as spring rolls, pho, pad thai, fried rice, and salads, the whole family can find something to eat. Pho, as described by Spoon University, is a “Vietnamese soup that is normally made with a bone-beef broth, banh pho noodles, and thinly sliced beef, that’s often served with bean sprouts and other fresh herbs on the side.” For my dinner, I chose the London Broil pho. Jack, having eaten earlier in the evening, opted for the steamed dumplings. Mason ordered the stir fried tofu with rice.

As we will mention later in the article, the first surprise came with the service speed. It took less than two minutes for the food to arrive at our table. Admittedly, I was initially worried. Service speed can often compromise fresh food. This was not the case, however. The broth of my pho was both hot and extremely flavorful with cooked rice noodles and beef strips that were just pink enough to retain texture. As far as portions go, I was satisfied after eating half of mine and had enough left to share with Jack and Mason. Jack’s dinner wasn’t anything to write home about, however. The steamed wonton wrap on the dumplings was overcooked, but the flavor of the pork mitigated my initial distaste. Either way, I would order the dish again. Though I did not get a chance to try Mason’s stir fry because he inhaled it (a sure sign that it tasted good), the dish looked delicious.

Thinking about the food rating that we wanted to denote, Jack and I both took price into consideration. We felt that the food was expensive for a predominantly take-out restaurant.

London Broil Pho
Tofu Stir Fry
Steamed Dumplings

Food: 6.3 (Jack), 8.1 (Davis)


Service (Jack)

Service, as much as any other aspect of a restaurant, can truly ‘make or break’ an experience. Going into Mi Xao, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t what we got. Davis ordered first, and while I was still in the process of looking at the menu after Mason, a waitress walked towards Davis with his steaming bowl of Pho Bo, or the London Broil. Not 30 seconds had passed and Davis and I both were astounded by the extreme speed with which his food was brought out. Mason finished ordering his Stir-Fried Tofu, and I followed with a dumpling appetizer. Within 3 minutes all of our food was brought out, along with silverware, an extra bowl for sharing, and on top of everything else, an extra dumpling. We weren’t 100% sure whether the dumpling was accidental or not, but combined with the polite and friendly nature of the staff, the extremely fast ‘ticket time’ (the time between when an order is put in and when the food is served), and even the extra food, Davis, Mason, and myself were all definitely more than impressed, especially considering that the restaurant had a staff of only three. However, we did notice a somewhat suspicious increase in the amount of things the staff offered to help us with after we began taking pictures. We weren’t sure if they knew we were making a review or not, but we just wanted to mention it as a disclaimer, in the event that our service was better than usual. 

Service: 9.5 (Jack), 9.4 (Davis)


Setting (Davis)

At first glance, Mi Xao has an unsurprising interior with a splatter of tables and an open kitchen behind the counter. And then I took a second glance and realized there’s nothing substantial about the layout. It’s pretty generic, but there is beauty in simplicity. I can imagine that most of the resources are used to buy fresh ingredients and produce authentic food. Can I be mad at that? Definitely not.

Mi Xao is not a place for a first date or fancy dinner. It is best for take-out dinner or a night with friends. Judging by the small crowd inside on a Saturday night, most people got the idea for take-out before we did. Overall, the setting was unimpressive.

The inside of the restroom.

Setting: 5.8 (Jack), 5.8 (Davis)


Conclusion and Rating (Both)

All in all, Mi Xao was an interesting addition to the now extensive repertoire of places we have visited during Restaurant Review, although there were some mixed feelings about the suspiciously good service. We hope that readers will be encouraged to try it and give us feedback. As with all of our food review articles, please feel free to send us restaurant suggestions at either or 


Rating Breakdown:

Food: 6.3 (Jack), 8.1 (Davis)

Service: 9.5 (Jack), 9.4 (Davis)

Setting: 5.8 (Jack), 5.8 (Davis)

Overall: 7.48