|Chicken Cashew Stir Fry at Lam Cafe.|
For my money, Lam Cafe is the best all-purpose restaurant on the strip. Enormous portions, quick and friendly service, and consistently high-quality meals add up to the a meal that lets you enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the Pham without taking a gamble on touristy places that may or may not deliver for more money.
Officially it's at 175 Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, but in reality, you can also eat at Chao Saigon (Burger Crazy, 222/2 Bui Vien) across the street (it's owned and operated by the same family/kitchen). An odd setup, but given the limited seating at the original site it works out well. (Protip: there is also upstairs seating at Lam with a good view of Bui Vien. Ignore the mini-second floor. Avoid the bathroom.)
Plus: they have a guinea pig that runs around. True Story. Click through for my favorite dishes, and pics of some of the cheapest, tastiest eats on the block.