SF hound heading to la (Foubtain Valley)
Going down Sunday to care for my aunt, and am looking for Farmers Markets, good shopping and interesting restaurants in/around Fountain Valley. Nothing fancy, just places for a foodie to enjoy on a brief break from care-giving. Thanks in advance!
Xanh (pronounced "sahn"). 16161 Brookhurst, tucked away in a lonely corner.
Homestyle Viet in a nice setting with Western-style service and an accessible menu. Great fish dishes, amazing banana blossom salad, good bò lúc lác (shaken filet mignon), very good small plates. While expensive by Little Saigon standards, I think nothing on the menu is more than $15 or so.
If you want other Viet reccos, say so... there is a whole world of cheap, great Viet eats just a mile or two away. Puts San Jose to shame.
16161 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
re: Das Ubergeek
Not a ton of great fish places unless you want:
Sushi, fish tacos or deep fried fish at a Vietnamese place or Mexican place.
As far as normal fish places there is:
The Fish House (chain)
The Original Fish Company in Los Alamitos (not too far by the 405)
The Crab Cooker (which has been around forever near the Newport Beach Pier)
The Crab Cooker
2200 Newport Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Not right in FV, no... if you're into spending money there's sushi and Mastro's Ocean Club. You could drive a little ways to Orange for Mariscos Puerto Esperanza, or to Anaheim for Mariscos Licenciado #2. There's Pearson's Port, where they'll cook it for you... or Vien Dong, with excellent cha ca Thang Long (turmeric-marinated grilled catfish with dill and onions). You could try the Cajun-style Viet places like Boiling Crab, but watch the sodium content, or fish with bitter caramel and black pepper in clay pot (ca kho to) at someplace like Xanh, S Fine Dining or a Hue-style place (perhaps kingkong5 or elmomonster can point you?)
But none of these places are in FV.
re: Das Ubergeek
You've got some solid advice from the most esteemed Orange County hounds: The Professor and Das Ubergeek. I also concur on the Au Lac rec from meltedcheese (I haven't tried Molcajete Grill -- sounds intriguing!).
Like Das said, If you're hankering for Hue style, Quan Hy and Quan Hop are IT. Quan Hop is a little more casual, not as crowded (I prefer this). They both serve small bites in the classic Hue style.
You must try the banh beo, little saucers filled with steamed rice cake. They're eaten like Jell-O shots.
Here's some pics:
1. Molcajete Grill on Bushard and Garfield near the 7-11. For these four things and only if they make number one right (it's been right every time but one- I don't think this place is doing so hot and I've noticed cost cutting steps lately: 1. Best heuvos rancharos I've ever had. Tons of bell peppers and onions in an unusual sauce; Tacos al Pastor (really good); my co-workers all swear by their Chile Relleno Burrito; and my wife loves their veggie tacos.
2. Lucci's deli on Magnolia and Adams. Has been there forever- a locals market. The food isn't that great except for three things: one the deli is good. Get 99 cent Italian bread really thin sliced and buy your own meats and cheeses. two- the lucci sub in the fridge by the restaurant: something about that sub (it's huge) makes me feel 12 again and three the spumoni in the freezer by the front of the store.
3. I also recommend going to Little Saigon and Kappo Honda.
4. Au Lac: clean veggi asian restaurant that also does raw food with this silent chef Ito guy (love him) on Brookhurst and Heil near Mile Square Park.
5. There's not a ton of place in FV but if you want to adventure out just a few more miles. I'm sure we can recommend more like Fuji Teriyaki Burger or that fish taco place on Beach and Atlanta in HB.
Farmer's Markets; the Saturday morning market at UC Irvine is Orange county's biggest and most interesting, though it's nothing compared to SF Ferry Building market.
UCI Market: Campus & Bridge Rd. HB Market: PCH & 6th St.
You're also close to the Huntington Beach Friday afternoon market, although this time of you year you'll be fighting the tourist congestion at the Pier.
Restaurants: FV has several noteworthy places, mostly Japanese or otherwise Asian.
Tsuruhashi: yakiniku that you grill yourself at the table, over charcoal+gas grill. Open dinner only, it's totally a must go. Go from Tues-Thursday and their set platters are the best deal you'll get for USDA Prime grade, seriously good beef.
Shin Sen Gumi: Two restaurants, side by side. There is a ramen shop on one side that makes rich, porky "tonkotsu" soup in the style favored in Kyushu, more specifically the city of Hakata that they take their name from. The lunch combos are a better deal than ordering the same items a la carte at dinner. The other half of their restaurant is a kushiyaki grill based izakaya. If you like yakitori and other Japanese pub food to go with your sake and beers, this would be the place for you.
Kappo Honda: practially across the street from SSG is another izakaya. Slightly different feel to the place, and mabye a little less refined food wise, but it's every bit like stepping off the Yamamote line and into a joint in front of a Tokyo train station (minus the chain smokers).
These places so far aren't "fancy' per se, but izakaya, like sushi places, can add up real fast to $50 per person at dinner if you're there with friends. SSG's ramen, at lunchtime, you can get out for $10, though.
Banh Mi & Che Cali is a local chain of Vietnamese sandwiches. The newest location is on the SE corner of Brookhurst & Talbert, and it doesn't even show up yet on Google. This location is also the only one in the chain that makes pho, but it's not a great pho, just average. Stick to the sandwiches. There are other locations as you head north on Brookhurst into Westminster and Garden Grove.
You're also inches away from Little Saigon. Any interest in Vietnamese food? We can inundate your visit with places to go there. Delicious, and oftentimes, cheap eats can be had there. Want to hear about those?
Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen
18315 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
18798 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
18450 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708