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Apr 24, 2007 10:58 PM

Blossom Việt Restaurant...downtown LA

Loft living in downtown LA has been great but one challange exists...lack of good Vietnamese restaurants ( especially on the other side of Chinatown...South side of 101 fwy). When Blossom Vietnamese restaurant opened up a year ago (4th/main in the old banking district) we thought it would satisfy our việt appetite and missing link. We're still hungry and lost:
We had the Bún chả giò ( bún noodle with eggrolls): the eggrolls were sooooo greasy and infused with a bad odor of old oil (almost stale, recycled donut oil smelling) . The typical toppings of cucumber, carrot/daikon pickles and bed of lettuce were part of the dish....but absolutely no HERBS of any kind! We searched and searched through the tossed dish hoping to find even a sliver of mint...basil...rau răm...tiá tô...even cilantro?? Nothing. The only flavor to the dish was from the rancid oil smell of the eggrolls and bland ( but slightly sweet/sour) mắm dressing.
Next dish, Bánh Xèo ( crispy crepe): It was anything but crispy. The crepe came to the table soft , thick and densely laden with dry mung beans that made the crepe too moist & heavy. Jicima was a nice addition to the pork/shrimp filling. The accompaning salad plate had a few slices of cucumber, two fresh leaves of lettuce, but only ONE sprig of mint. Never have we ever fought over the dinner table, but the battle over the single sprig of mint at a việt meal was comical. One of the most defining characteristics of Việt cuisine are the herbs and the Bánh Xèo being crispy: both of these were lacking at this dinner. We'd like to go back and give it another try, but feel that our $20 could be spent better elsewhere. Has anyone else tried Blossom? If yes, we'll give it another try if you say so. We'd like to be fair....or better yet, spend our money on wine ( 2 glasses and bruchette and a bowl of tomato soup..$28) at Banquette Cafe 3 stores down ( which is exactly what we did after eating at Blossom).

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  1. It seems to make more sense to hop over to Chinatown (which is more Vietnamese these days anyway) where I'm sure you can get standards like pho, cha gio, banh mi, and maybe banh xeo much more readily. It's not SGV or Westminster, but it is pretty close to downtown proper and reading your description of the food above, it would taste worlds better. Is there a reason you're averse to going to Chinatown?? That's where I would go if I lived in downtown. In fact, I do go there from the westside for Vietnamese staples and such if I know I won't be making it to SGV or Westminster any time soon.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hch_nguyen

      I've tried Blossom twice and not super impressed. It is safe for loft-folk but I also found it on the bland side.I like Pho Thien Hoa in Chinatown. Good pho dac biet and they make their own nem too. Very small but much better than the well-known Pho 79 across the way

      1. re: hch_nguyen

        Quite respectfully, we never said we were averse to going to Chinatown. Chinatown has been a jewel for us in many ways, including food. But when there are times when we would like to walk to a restaurant ( as with many dowtown inhabitants due to the cost of parking) rather than walk the 15 blocks . It's nice to have something within a 10-15 miute walking distance than to fight the downtown lunch traffic and parking, thus for us eateries on the south side of the 101 is convenient . In due time, a plethora of restaurants will be opening soon within 1st & 11th st. & so we hope to share these new restaurant experiences with everyone on chowhound. In the meantime, you'll find us in Chinatown slurping away.

        1. re: whiteonricecouple

          ah, well the walking thing puts a whole different perspective on everything. I figured it was something like that but wanted to confirm

      2. I was happy to find Blossom when trudging along Main Street one day and stopped in for mediocre bun and cha gio, but I certainly would not go out of my way to return.

        1. I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience at Blossom - I've been many times in the past year and have always enjoyed it! I've never strayed from the #21 (noodles with egg rolls and grilled steak), and it's never done me wrong. I've always been pleased with the amount of greens (including lots of mint) and the eggrolls have never been the slightest bit rancid. I've also always thought the people there were very nice - I'm positive they would have brought you more mint if you had requested it!

          1. we love BLOSSOM and prefer it to most places in chinatown.

            1 Reply
            1. re: revets2

              Blossom's Pho's broth seemed like boullion to me, didn't seem to have the whole bone marrow thing going.