I used to live in Stockton where there still is this INCREDIBLE Vietnamese restaurant. They had the usual fare, but also had a phenomenal vegetarian menu... which included vegetarian broths that rivaled meat based broths! TO DIE FOR. I'm currentlya meat eater, but LOVE vegetarian food still. Since I've been in LA, I have not found a Vietnamese restaurant here that has the same quality of options. There is a small Vietnamese Cafe on Sunset in Echo Park which is not marked with a sign out front...it's in the mini mall with Rambutan Thai restaurant, but they have MAYBE 2 veggie items. Has anyone ever come across a good Vietnamese restaurant with a decent vegetarian menu?
There's one in South El Monte ("Veggie Life," 9324 E. Garvey Ave, south of the 10 at Rosemead exit), but I don't think it's very good.
The food at Au Lac is generally too sweet for my taste. A better choice, I think, and slightly closer, is Thuyen Vien, at 11080 Magnolia Street in Garden Grove, on the corner of Magnolia and Katella.
All of the above are completely vegetarian vietnamese restaurants.
A non-vegetarian restaurant I go to frequently is Pho Au Pagolac Cholon in Chinatown (861 N. Spring Street, across from the Gold Line Metro station). Their menu has a full page of vegetarian dishes. The rice-noodle squares with braised gluten is good, as are the dried tofu spring rolls. Stuff is pretty inexpensive, and they validate for the parking garage next door.
Just visited an awesome vegetarian vietnamese restaurant that also makes/sells their own fresh tofu and soymilk !!!! For lunch I had 'bun bi thit nuong' which is a yummy cold salad of herbs, greens, cucumbers,bean sprouts, veggie chicken and veggie beef slices topped with a clear coconut sauce spiked with chili flakes. To die for! My beverage was a bottle of their own fresh soymilk. Cold and clean tasting with no aftertaste (unlike the corn-syrup spiked 'Silk' and '8th Continent' brand, yuk!). I also took home a block of their fresh tofu made daily. I tasted a spoonful raw and wow, this tofu had FLAVOR. Yes, I said flavor. It was dense and rich tasting like concentrated edamame. As a vegetarian this is my new favorite spot.
Vinh Loi Tofu
Vietnamese Vegetarian and Tofu Factory
18625 Sherman Way Ave, #101
Reseda, CA 91335
The place only has 3 tightly packed tables, but the owners are friendly and helpful. This is a great neighborhood place.