Huong Huong or other To Go places in Little Saigon?
Looking to pick up some spring rolls and anything else that looks good for appetizers for a dinner party. Would Huong Huong be the best spot for this kind of stuff? Or is there somewhere else I should check out? Not looking to spend $8 for 4 rolls at Brodard, since I have to buy enough for the whole group.
re: Das Ubergeek
Huong Huong and Vien Dong are both good for egg rolls. Huong Huong will sell them to you frozen, if you want to bring them home and fry 'em up yourself, so they're super fresh. They run $25 for 50. No need to give notice, unless you want mass quantities. I've picked up 200 or so there on a whim, and they always seem available. They make them fresh there, freeze them, and fry up the frozen ones for the "fresh" ones they sell there. Freezing them keeps them from unraveling when they're fried. Van Restaurant on Brookhurst also makes good cha gio but will only sell them pre-cooked. Van also makes banh khot, a little tartlet/pancake (about the diameter of an oreo cookie) filled with coconut milk and a whole shrimp. Yum. Decent fried rice, too.
If you want non-fried salad rolls, check Com Tam Thuan Kieu, which makes nem cuon or goi cuon. (And does a much better job with nem cuon, a Brodard specialty.) They travel well - they pack these guys up rolled individually with saran wrap, kind of a pain to unwrap them all – though they don’t keep well (the crispy guy in the middle tends to get soggy after a while). They are significantly less expensive than at Brodard, I think about $1 each? Another thing to get while you’re here is the grilled pork. They par cook it and finish it on the grill with a glaze/ sauce. They’ll sell it to you par cooked with the sauce on the side, if you prefer (I always do), so you can sauce and grill yourself at home. It’s great. Just fatty enough, tender, and you can use less sauce than they do at the restaurant, as it’s a tad salty there. It’s $9/pound. Make sure you get lots – half the guests left my house with scorched fingers from eating it straight off the grill last time we had a Vietnamese BBQ. They’ll send it home for you with nuoc mam (ubiquitous lime-chili fish sauce) and pickled vegetables, if you ask for it.
If you need something to accompany the pork, pick up some banh hoi, the super thin, delicate, rice noodles formed into a little bundle/ flattened cake. You can also get it at Thuan Kieu, but if you want it super fresh, go get it from the place that supplies the restaurants and grocery stores. I forget the name, but it’s in the same strip mall as Nice Bridal, on Westminster.
If you really want to get something from Brodard, get either the chicken goi or the beef goi. (Chicken or Beef Salad.) They’re probably the best things on the menu – it’s all I’d actually eat there – and travels really well. They package all the different components and dressing separately: the crispy things stay crispy and you can dress it right before you serve it. Huge crowd pleasers, either one.
For dessert, stop by Final Touch Bakery, where Stephanie Dinh has been baking since long before she opened S (the Vietnamese fine dining place). Very, very nice cakes, particularly with the mixed berry Bavarian cream filling. Pricey by Little Saigon standards, which means crazy cheap for anywhere else.
Or, for Vietnamese desserts, Hien Khanh is the place to go. Waaay better than Che Cali (with the exception of the che khoai mon, the taro-sticky rice dessert, which Che Cali does surprisingly well). They sell out of stuff regularly, though, so make sure you get there early enough for any kind of selection. Their homemade Vietnamese yogurt (kept in the case) is also really, really good. It’s what I buy when I’m too lazy to make my own. Again, it’s more expensive than other che places in Little Saigon, but well worth it.
Is there something in particularly you were hoping to serve?