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?
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.
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.