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Little Saigon - worth checking out?

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So, I'm thinking of making the trek down to the OC to check out Little Saigon. I've always wondered what it was all about. Is it worth me making the trek from the Valley? Is there any other hidden Asian treasures in the OC I should check out while I'm there?

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  1. Hanoi Restaurant, on Bolsa between Magnolia + Bushard, after Asian Garden Mall if you're going North on Bolsa.
    - Get their bun cha hanoi, cha ca thanh long, or their sweet yam shrimp fried thing (you'll know it when you see it)

    Head south about 10 stores, drop by Le Croissant Dore, pick up some fruit tart

    Hop back in your car, go down about 2 lights, make a left into a small ghetto strip mall w/rainbow sound. It's across from Lee's Sandwiches. Head to Kang Lac Bakery. Grab some Cafe Sua Da (vietnamese iced coffee).

    1. I always say to check out Brodard behind the 99 Cent Store for their nem nuong cuon (grilled pork spring rolls). It's the very definition of hidden, in my opinion, as there's no store frontage on the street, and you have to go past a bunch of dumpsters just to get to it. Or you could walk through that little shopping mall, but I've typically gone at night after all those shops have closed.

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      Brodard Restaurant
      9892 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92844

      2 Replies
      1. re: SauceSupreme

        On our way back from San Diego yesterday, we made a quick stop to try out the nem nuong cuon at Brodard. That is one of the best things I've eaten in recent memory. A wonderful balance of crunchy, fresh, fried, etc. flavors. We bought some to go and ate them while standing next to our car...

        Then we walked over to Lee's Sandwiches for a durian smoothie (very good) and a pate banh mi (also very good).

        My wife got some pho from Pho Thanh Lich to go and it was very good, as well.

        We need to return to that area because it's obvious that there are tons of options to consider...

        1. re: glutton

          Glad you liked it. The crab-peanut dipping sauce is like a giant Screw You if you've got an allergy, because it tastes so good!

          Whenever I find my way through the Orange Crush, Brodard and Pho Thanh Lich are my sanctuaries. PTL is most well known for their filet mignon in their pho, but I actually like their pho ga (chicken).

          I believe that Pho Thanh Lich also has a sister restaurant in Long Beach, though the name escapes me at the moment.

          -----
          Pho Thanh Lich
          14500 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683

      2. A lot of these are still relevant. I posted a big summary of some of my favorites here:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/341312

        1. Definitely! Hubby and I go there at least once whenever we are in the L.A. area (we live in NM, Land of Enchantment). If you like lobsters, Dragon Phoenix Palace, 9211 Bolsa Ave has 6 pound fresh lobsters and cooked with a house special recipe. On weekends, the dim sum line at DPP is very long as most Asians from SFrancisco and SDiego go there. Capital Seafood on Westminster Westminster Ave, just west of Magnolia is also a good place. There are many Asian grocery stores on Bolsa, Magnolia, Westminster and Brookhurst. They are neat to shop at. For expensive gold jewellery, try the Asian Garden Mall on Bolsa.

          6 Replies
          1. re: mommyet

            Dragon phoenix palace is excellent. But stop by kang lac across the street for coffee!

            1. re: mommyet

              In my experience, the Dim Sum at Dragon Phoenix was horrid. Try Seafood Paradise instead.

              1. re: JAB

                Funny, I found the exact opposite haha.

                1. re: JAB

                  I'll try Dim Sum at Seafood Paradise sometime in the near future. We usually go to Ocean Star in Monterey Park for their Dim Sum. I'll send hubby to Kang Lac for coffee as I don't drink it but I'll go to Lee's Sandwiches, a few doors east of Dragon PHX for the durian smoothie! o) o) o)

                  1. re: mommyet

                    while your at Lee's, get the almond croissant if you don't already.

                    I usually grab coffee from kang lac and walk across the way to grab the almond croissant. that fruit store in the same plaza as kang lac, right next to rainbow sound, has some great/fresh exotic (depending on what you consider exotic...) fruit

                    1. re: ns1

                      Hubby is making note of the almond croissant at Lee's. I am allergic to everything with wheat but since Kang Lac is a bakery, I'll go in to check them out. Thanks about the great fresh fruit place too.

              2. Quanh Hy - I take my friends who visit out of state here. Love their clam salad, roasted chicken dish, bun bo hue (spicy beef noodles), and most of all Banh Beo (rice cakes with garlic & shrimp bits). Goes very well with Soda Chan (lime/lemonade)

                2 Replies
                1. re: redbeancake

                  Wow! I had no idea the area had so much to offer! Now I really can't wait to go! Thanks everyone!

                  1. re: sunnygordy

                    there's a ton of good restaurants, but a ton of subpar ones too. turnover in the area is very high, with a few exceptions.

                2. Just make sure you are on defense when driving through. I live just around the corner from Little Saigon and it is dangerous. People there use the center yellow lane to drive down the street in. The parking lots are even scarier.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: steeltrap

                    It was necessary to resurrect a two-year-old thread so you could post about the traffic (which isn't worse, for example, than the aggro maniacs on the Westside)?

                    So that this stays on topic, let me offer my Chow list of places to eat in Little Saigon: http://www.chow.com/lists/edit/14688

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      Agreed!!! LOL!