Disneyland area help - great restaurants nearby
We're going to Disneyland next week and we're looking for some dinner options outside Disney itself. We have two kids, 7 and 5, but they can find something they like pretty much anywhere. Any type of food is fine, but we'd prefer something good. We don't have many options for Korean food in Phoenix (and little for Vietnamese), so we'd enjoy something like that. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
We had a very poor meal at Napa Rose recently and definitely would not recommend it. It is rather expensive, and in our opinion was clearly not worth it.
I would definitely take note of Das Ubergeek's recommendations for Korean or Vietnamese food. He (or is he a she?) know his stuff!
Well, happily, you will be just a few miles from the largest collection of Vietnamese businesses in North America, and a few miles from a pretty significant collection of Korean.
For Korean, if you want barbecue, my recommendation is either Cham Sut Gol or Shik Do Rak (both on Garden Grove Blvd.). For soon tofu (spicy tofu stew, with or without barbecue) go to Kaju, on the corner of Garden Grove Blvd. and Magnolia St.
For Vietnamese, it's hard to choose, but here are some options:
1. Xanh (Brookhurst/Edinger, Fountain Valley) is an upscale place with excellent Viet- and Viet-inspired food, family style. It is one of the most expensive restaurants in Little Saigon but it's not expensive -- expect to spend $15-$25 per person (exclusive of drinks, tax and tip).
2. Vien Dong (Brookhurst/15th, Garden Grove) is a mid-grade place, the kind where you go up and pay at the cashier at the end. The things to get are cha ca thanh long (catfish marinated in turmeric and grilled with onions and dill), bun cha Hanoi (pork and pork meatballs in a thin papaya-based sauce eaten with herbs, vegetables and rice noodles), and the fried sweet potatoes with shrimp. Excellent, excellent egg rolls (cha gio or nem ran). Expect to spend $6-$12 per person for food.
3. Pho Thanh Lich (Brookhurst/Hazard, Westminster) for beef pho. Get the rare pho on the side so you can cook it in your broth and keep it rare. Expect to spend $5-$7 per person for food.
4. Dakao for chicken pho. Expect to spend $6-$8 per person.
5. Com Tam Tran Quy Cap (McFadden/Ward, Garden Grove/Fountain Valley) for com tam, which is broken rice with toppings -- good toppings are lap xuong (sweet pork sausage), cha (Vietnamese pork quiche), bi (shredded pork tossed with toasted rice powder). Many people like the tau hu ky (tofu skin stuffed with shrimp paste) but I prefer it at Com Tam Thuan Kieu. Expect to spend $6-$10 per person.
6. Quan Minh Ky (Bolsa between Brookhurst and Bushard) for excellent grilled lemon leaf chicken (ga ro ti la chanh) and interesting skewers (venison is tasty) as well as mi quang (egg noodles in pork-bone and crab soup). Expect to spend $8-$15 per person.
7. Newport Tan Cang Seafood (1st/Newhope, Santa Ana). Get house lobster and maybe bo luc lac (shaken beef). You buy a lobster and the price includes the preparation. The smallest lobster I've ever seen there is 3 1/2 lbs., so expect to spend $20-$30 per person if you buy one lobster and another dish, plus soup and rice.
8. Pagolac (Brookhurst/Hazard, Westminster) for seven courses of beef (bo bay mon). Beef prepared in the traditional ways, from soup to grill (Google "bo bay mon" for help). Expect to spend $12-$18 per person.
re: Das Ubergeek
14271 Brookhurst St, Garden Grove, CA 92843
Pho Thanh Lich
14500 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683
Newport Seafood Restaurant
4411 W 1st St, Santa Ana, CA 92703
9691 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844
Kaju Tofu Restaurant
8895 Garden Grove Blvd Garden, Grove, CA
16161 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Cham Sut Gol
9252 Garden Grove Blvd # 10 Garden, Grove, CA
14580 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683
Minh Ky Quan Restaurant
9741 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683
Com Tam Tran Quy Cap
10522 McFadden Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92843
Thank you all for the recommendations, especially Das Ubergeek. We went to Vien Dong and ordered everything you recommended (yes it was too much food, but so good). Everything was great. We really liked the cha gio egg rolls (incredibly good!), the catfish, pork and the shrimp. The kids loved the giant fish tank and tried pretty much everything (I think they sensed how excited we were). The owner spoke with us throughout dinner, explaining the menu and showing us hot best enjoy each dish. He liked hearing that we were referred to his restaurant (I don't think he knew about Chowhound, but he said he's had a lot of Arizona people coming in). Everyone was incredibly friendly. What a great find. We will definitely be back on our next trip.
We also picked up a bunch of sandwiches at Lee's on our way out of town. Interestingly, there is a Lee's in Chandler but I didn't know it was part of a chain. The sandwiches were incredible, very inexpensive and with such incredible flavor. And the bread is awesome. Lee's was pretty crowded on a Saturday afternoon, and I imagine it is packed quite often. The great sandwiches are mostly $2.75! I would eat there 5 days a week if it was close by.
Finally, we ate dinner at Catal in downtown Disney one night. We ate upstairs on the balcony. The food and service were excellent. I had the flat iron steak (very good) and the scallop dish was excellent. I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a nice dinner without leaving Disneyland proper.
Thanks again for your help.
Thanks for reporting back!! I'm glad you ate well. I'm actually leaving for Vien Dong in five minutes... need a fix of that bun cha Hanoi!
I forgot to give you recommendations for banh mi shops -- that was my miss. There's lots better than Lee's, but at least now you know what to look for in PHX!
How about Tustin? There's Zon Baguettes. The sandwiches are very expensive by banh mi standards (OH NO THREE FITTY!) but they're better filled and the bread is great.
Or right off the 405 on Brookhurst, just 10 minutes north of the Jamboree exit, there are a couple of branches of Banh Mi Che Cali.
Finally, I have enjoyed -- but not for a long time -- the dac biet at Le Diplomate in the same plaza as the UCI Lee's. The other sandwiches are not good, but the "everything" sandwich has been very good, especially if you ask for extra pate.