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Nov 22, 2008 02:49 PM

The Best Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon) in Los Angeles?

I've always loved Vietnamese spring rolls (who doesn't) and lately I just can't get enough. I never eat veggies or salads but roll them up and I suddenly can't get enough. Recently I've even thought of making my own but then I came to my lazy senses. This hasn't kept me dreaming up bizarre versions. What about shredded green papaya and ground chile pepper? Or dark chocolate and mango?

Who do you thinks makes the best Goi Cuon in LA and don't say your mom unless you're willing to give me her address.

I live in Silver Lake so I started there:

Pho Cafe - The best in Silver Lake but they could be better. They lack a crunch that I find crucial to the experience. They are nice enough to add jalapeno when I remember to ask. Serves cold pho. Cash only. Serves beer. Bottled soft drinks -- orange soda. Parking lot is always full.

GingerGrass - Fine spring rolls but boring. Can't say why they just aren't that great. No cold pho. Can get really loud. Usually a waiting list. Serves wine and beer. Tasty lychee mimosa. Free rice chip things. Across the street from Silver Lake Wine which has evening tastings (Sunday, Monday, Thursday 5-9).

Lu Sub - Lame -- mostly whole lettuce leaves. 1 table.

Outside of Silver Lake that I've tried recently:

Pho Saigon (next to KyoChon on West Sixth) - Lame spring rolls were mostly shredded lettuce lame. Fortunately I Iove shredded lettuce. Parking lot is insane!

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  1. Given up on decent Vietnamese food in LA. For goi cuon and other rice paper wraps, try SGV, Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa (Mission and Rosemead) or Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa (Valley/Garfield). Just as good as Little Saigon and extremely cheap.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hppzz

      NNKH is fantastic. Went there today for lunch. Had the Broken Rice and Pork Chop and some NN spring rolls. The bill was $20 for two (w/ tip!)

      1. re: hppzz

        Another vote for Nem Nuong Hinh Hoa. Their Nem Nuong is amazing.

      2. Golden Deli.

        The Goi Cuon may be the best dish at Golden Deli.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          I'm hoping you were actually referring to their cha goi, because the goi cuon isn't that great there.

          1. re: raytamsgv

            Goi cuon at GD is mostly lettuce and really dismal.

        2. I always return to pho 79 in chinatown. kind of a dump, but I like the food.

          1. Vien Dong or Brodard in Little Saigon, or Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa, as hppzz said, in SGV.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Glad to know about Little Saigon but I never go that direction. Any Americanized versions available in LA proper?

              1. re: Hershey Bomar

                You know, I actually just really read the title and saw you want the unfried kind -- the places I suggested are the fried kind (cha gio).

                The unfried kind, I like best at Banh Mi Che Cali in the SGV. Not LA but closer than Little Saigon.

                1. re: Hershey Bomar

                  I'm a little embarrassed to post this (but you asked for an Americanized version...) - I've always really liked the chicken satay spring rolls at Noodle Planet in Westwood. They have chicken (marinated as if for satay), green apple, lettuce, basil and mint in them, and they're delicious - the sweet/tart apple is a great contrast. Definitely not as traditional/authentic as regular goi cuon (which I also love), but nice for a change.

                2. I tried Indochine Vien in Atwater today. The pho was good but the goi cuon were weak. Better than Gingergrass but no where near as good as the Pho Cafe. Also, they were made with chicken -- which I thought was odd.