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Feb 21, 2012 09:52 AM

Vietnamese grilled beef with betel leaves

I've been searching for authentic "bo nuong la lot", but the places I've tried use grape leaves. I'm told betel leaves should be used since they lend a unique flavor that can't be replicated with grape leaves. Where can I find a Vietnamese restaurant in SGV that serves bo nuong la lot with betel leaves?

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  1. I don't know about the SGV, but you can get real bo nuong la lot at Thien An and Pagolac, two "seven courses of beef" restaurants in Little Saigon.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Yep, I'll throw in Anh Hong in Garden Grove too. My aunt would get a couple orders to go all the time at 7 courses of beef places. Also at Banh Mi So 1 they sell them as an item on their ready made food to go hot area, I want to say 5-6 rolls on a skewer....

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Herr Doktor Ubergeek, could you disambiguate?

        There are two places called Thien An:

        Thien An
        9477 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683

        Thien An
        13518 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

        The website of the second Thien An makes no reference to the first, but does mention a location in Houston, TX. Both appear to do bo 7 mon.

        1. re: Peripatetic

          Hm, I didn't know there was one on Bolsa. I was talking about the one on Harbor.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Been to that one, Bolsa and Bushard in the same plaza as some vegetarian place. Pretty good, but I haven't been to the other location.

      2. It's a dish commonly found at 7 courses of beef restaurants. I know it's served at the ones I frequent in the OC, perhaps you'll find it at on in SGV.

        1 Reply
        1. re: attran99

          in the SGV,

          I'm a huge fan of Thien An's bo bay mon, which has the bo nuong la lot

          The other solid choice would be Vietnam Restaurant:

          Both use betel leaves.

        2. Have you tried Vietnam Restaurant on Las Tunas? I've had their 7 courses of beef. There was one that was wrapped in some kind of leaf and it sure didn't taste like a grape leaf to me. You could call and ask, I suppose.

          1. Thanks for the replies.

            I tried the “bo nuong la lot” at Vietnam Restaurant on Las Tunas last week. I liked it, but the menu said “grape leaves” and it tasted like it to me (Middle Eastern feel). It was actually from reading the Wandering Chopsticks blog touting betel over grape leaves that I became obsessed with finding authentic bo nuong la lot. I’ll give Thien An a try.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MonsieurKnowItAll

              Strictly speaking, they're not betel leaves, they're from a related plant, but they don't contain the narcotic compounds betel leaves do. I don't think they have a proper English name; in Vietnamese the name is, not surprisingly, "lá lốt."

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