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Best Vietnamese restaurant in OC (specific dishes)

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I'm looking for authentic Chao Tom (shrimp paste on sugarcane) and beef pho. Which Vietnamese restaurant in OC serves the best of these, preferably close to Irvine? Beef pho is a dime a dozen but I have yet to come across a restaurant with Chao Tom let alone authentic. Any suggestion? Thanks!

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  1. you probably aren't from around the area huh?

    i can't say which place exact, but i'm sure you'll find your goldmine in westminister, ca...

    5 Replies
    1. re: miteymike

      Yes, I'm new to the area and haven't seen a Vietnamese place that serves Chao Tom. Do you have any recommendation in Westminister?

      1. re: ilsorpasso

        i can't say that i have any, but if vietnamese is what you want, you're going to get it over there. it's a common dish. little saigon (westminister) will be your area.

        1. re: ilsorpasso

          Let us first ask this question:

          What is "authentic" chao tom to you, and what is not?

          1. re: ns1

            Like these here:

            http://youtu.be/-qxgsqUWaiQ?t=11m30s

            1. re: ilsorpasso

              If you haven't already it figured out, Little Saigon in Westminster has the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. I'm not a big fan of that dish, but I'm sure you can find it in Little Saigon. Other chowhounders could give you better recs for that area than I can.

              If you're adventurous, spend a day in Little Saigon. The Vietnamese food there is about as authentic as it gets. If you want anything more authentic, you'll need a passport and an entry visa to Vietnam.

      2. Here is a very extensive Best of Little Saigon thread that is pretty much spot on:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/341312

        1 Reply
        1. re: Porthos

          Porthos- That is an awesome thread but, would you say that those recommendations still hold? I was looking for a thread JUST like that one but, a bit more up to date...

        2. Start with Vien Dong, Brodard, Dat Thanh, Com Tam Thuan Kieu, Quan Vy Da and Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa for chao tom, and if you can't find what you want among them, I have another batch I can throw out there.