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Jun 12, 2008 07:42 AM

BEST Vietnamese food in Garden Grove/Little Saigon?

My friends who is studying Vietnamese and loves Vietnamese food is visiting from another country and I thought she would love it if I took her to the 'real deal' least in California.
I've been to many good Vietnamese places in the SGV area but was wondering what your recs are in Garden Grove, Little Saigon area since I've never been there. All recommendations are appreciated! thanks

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  1. I don't think there's such a thing as a "good at everything" vietnamese restaurant in little saigon. You gotta pick what type of food you're craving and then go from there

    - Com Tam Trung Qui Cap - Edinger/Harbor for rice + meat
    - People say Brodard for spring rolls but I like the Nem Nuong places in the SGV better quite frankly
    - Favori on First/near Fairview for baked catfish
    - Le Croissant Dore on Bolsa near Magnolia by Asian Garden Mall for ridiculous fruit tart
    - Dong Khan on Newhope/First for great family style eats, and they do a killer tamarind crab

    If you're looking for something specific let me know

    6 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      thanks. True, there are certain specialties. I like pho and bun cha, cha gio and broken rice. They don't need to be all in one restaurant but if it is, great! I also would like to know the great whole in the walls as well as the more fancier ones. Thanks foe your help

      1. re: yum

        broken rice would definitely be com tam trung qui cap as noted above. Been going there for years - their tau hu ky (fried shrimp paste thing) is way better than all others IMHO.

        pho, no idea since my absolute favorite pho place closed down. I hear Pho Thanh Lich is the new spot to go to; oddly enough, I used to go there alot when it was a pizza hut.

        bun cha, as in bun cha hanoi? I used to go to Hanoi Restaurant on Bolsa near Magnolia. They had the best bun cha hanoi as well as fried shrimp/yam thing, and their cha ca thanh long (fish on sizzling place with dill and some yellow paste that I can't remember the name of at the moment) was top notch as well. Right next to le croissant dore actually. However, they've recently underwent a management change, so I can't vouch for them right now.

        1. re: ns1

          Com Tam Thuan Kieu is my usual destination for broken rice.

          Pho Thanh Lich is the pho destination for you, or maybe Pho 79 kitty-corner from it. In the early morning, Pho 86 opens at like 5:30 AM.

          Bun cha and cha ca thanh long are very good at Vien Dong on Brookhurst, and they have excellent cha gio as well.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Hi Das Ubergeek,

            Do you have an Address for your favorite broken rice place? :) I'll have to try that and ns1's pick as well. Thanks!

            1. re: exilekiss

              Brookhurst and 13th in Garden Grove, next to a halal meat market and one plaza north of Van's Bakery, on the east side of the street.

              Com Tam Thuan Kieu
              14282 Brookhurst St Ste 2, Garden Grove, CA 92843

              1. re: exilekiss

                Here is the place I rec'ed as well.


                Sorry, I spelled it wrong.

      2. I made some suggestions in an earlier thread here

        Hanoi restaurant at Magnolia/Bolsa is great for Bun Cha Hanoi, where the grilled meats are left in a little bowl of sauce, and you eat it with the noodles and veggies/mint.

        Bun Bo Hue So 1 is at Brookhurst/McFadden, behind the Pho 54 restaurant. A great example of good, spicy beef noodle soup from the middle of the country.

        I am also a fan of Com Tam Thuan Kieu at Brookhurst/13th (just south of Westminster Ave), like Das Ubergeek.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kingkong5

          hey kingkong5-

          When was the last time you went to Hanoi? Recently say <3 months ago? Still good?

          1. re: ns1

            I'm pretty sure it was in the last 3-5 months. They did some renovation on the outside of the shopping center, looks nice, but parking is still a giant pain. My wife had the Bun Cha Hanoi, she said it was the same as usual. It's what she always gets, so it should still be good. I had the fried sweet potato shrimp thing (yum!) and some fried rice.

            1. re: kingkong5

              Just what I needed to hear, thanks.

              That bun cha hanoi is ridiculously addictive.

        2. We had a wonderful meal at Xanh Bistro. This was more upscale than most of the mom-and-pop restaurants in Little Saigon. We had fish that was in a claypot with caramelized sauce, a couple veggie salads that were excellent, and some other dishes. That fish was the highlight, though. This was the best meal I've had in that area.

          1. thanks so much for all the recs... by the way, also looked up brodard's site and get an impression of it not being authentic and more americanized... am I wrong?

            3 Replies
            1. re: yum

              Having never been to Vietnam, I cannot say if it's incredibly authentic or not. However, if I judge by the clientele, then I have to think that it's the real deal. And beyond that question, the food is outstanding.

              1. re: yum

                [insert usual preface of i'm vietnamese and have been to VN several times] I've actually have heard Vietnamese people who have been to both VN and little saigon debate which place has better food...and some even argue little saigon does partly because ingredients tend to be fresher and more abundant in the US then in VN. I always stop at brodards when I go to OC and I would contend it is not americanized. If anything, they tried to "americanize" with Chateau Brodard with a nicer atmosphere and higher prices...for the same food!

                in addition to those threads above, a great site for some reviews is

                1. re: hppzz

                  My parents noted that food in VN was uh "less than stellar" due to poorer quality of ingredients.