Little Saigon Adventures


@Chowseeker1999 favorite drink!!


Tam bien make the best chao long. We love getting the sausages to go to make it at home


Rant/Dear Diary

Went to a place that I heard specializes in grilled garlic beef pho. I was excited because this is not a common dish in Little Saigon. I previously saw a YouTube video of this dish in Saigon but I can’t seem to find it with my searches.

The aroma and taste of grilled beef and garlic with a Southern style Pho broth sounds so good. Great concept but possibly the worst pho I ever had. The beef tasted so sweet and they used a thin slice beef, there was zero garlic flavor in that beef. The broth was also too sweet. How could they serve this?

But I realize most of the Pho shops are doing this for survival, most likely to help support their children and their education. Or send some money back home. I do admire that! In one generation their children are educated with stable middle class jobs and upper middle class jobs. A friend told me a story about someone he knew. A daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, they saved as much as they can when they got here. Their daughter will now be graduating nursing school, paid in full (some financial aid too) the only caveat was good grades. They are so grateful, appreciative and proud to be here in this country and to be Americans. I think a lot of these families know the horrors of war and communism and they do not take this country for granted. I know I am slightly generalizing but this seems to be true in my experience speaking and befriending Vietnamese. They hustle hard, man.

So I get it. If a good bowl of pho broth takes 12-16 hours, then when the broth is out, it should be out. Done for the day. But that’s not profitable right?

It is going take an obsessive to do this right. Like an Aaron Franklin. Like an Evan Funke. Somewhere out here in Little Saigon is a son/daughter of Vietnamese immigrants who wants to do this right. Or even an outsider.

Maybe it’s the complexity and nuances of Pho Bo that makes it hard to get it right than any other dish. I guess I am just trying to understand why it is such a hit and miss.

TBH when it comes to beef pho, I am team Northern/Hanoi. I do like Pho B, let me tell you when the broth is on point it is the best thing ever! Some black pepper and some lime, that’s it! That’s all you need. But I must say there has been times when it was bland.
I could say the same with Pho 79, probably the quintessential and best Southern/Saigon style pho in Little Saigon. At its best there are faint notes of cinnamon balance out beautifully with savory and rich but still light broth. Yes there are times when it was pretty meh.

Anyways there is a world beyond Pho in Vietnamese cuisine.

This train of thought is over. Thank you.


maybe it’s happening in none other than hipster greenpointe, brooklyn…5 types of pho varieties by sons/daugters of viet immigrants.

we shall see how they do, but the pho of your dreams may not survive the competitive immigrant enclaves like little saigon where prices are expected to be cheap. i don’t know what the price is for the above menu, but for them to be successul i’ll imagine they’ll have to charge 10-14 dollar bowl of pho. Will the general public, let alone other asians accept that as easily as they do ramen?


I know I had a rough time reconciling that $20 bowl of pho from Susan Feniger’s defunct STREET, and this was years ago when you could easily get a solid bowl of pho in Little Saigon for about $6.


Nice owner at OC Rotisserie made me a off menu Banh Mi

Bo Kho Banh Mi with Trung Op La (Beef Stew Sandwich with Egg)

1st things first. Kinda confusing in Vietnamese…

Ingredients share the same name as dishes…banh mi, pho, Hu tieu

So Banh Mi Bo Kho is usually just stew with a side of bread.

That is probably not as clear explanation as I would like.

But this Banh Mi kicks ass in a homely way with the egg yolk, sriracha, beef, veg, and bread all coming to together in harmony


Super enjoy your adventures through Little Saigon! Is OC Rotisserie your top pick for Banh mi?


Saigon Bakery for the Egg Banh Mi

OC Rotisserie for Roast Chicken Banh Mi

Ba Le, they do pretty much everything in house! The pate, mayo, and pickles.

Those are my favs!!

Thanks for reading! There is still more to eat and experience!


Can also co-sign on the OC Rotisserie banh mi. I think of it often.

All praise due to King @JeetKuneBao - forever may he reign (and post).


Oh Mia Mia Truck at the OC Night Market.

Just straight up Sugarcane with kumquats.


This is the most frothy and creamy I ever had. Look at that!!!

I think for straight up, Mia is my choice in Little Saigon.
This is one of the best I ever had.


Mia has a truck that I think frequents some farmers markets. It was at the Irvine Great Park Sunday farmers market recently (10AM - 2 PM every Sunday)


Awesome thanks! Gotta try some of these places out!


They open late (11, and 12 on the weekend), which is a rarity for Mi/Hu Tieu places, and they take card!

The Holy Trinity!


That sugarcane juice from mia looks so good!


It still blows my mind how creamy and frothy it was.


When you had their sugarcane was it as creamy as the one I had?


#18 at Saigon Bakery, the Egg Banh Mi.

One of my favs for the simplicity.



I didn’t actually have anything from Mia’s haha. I was just reporting in.

And thanks for the tip on Saigon Bakery! But what’s the address? Yelp reveals several places with Saigon Bakery in the name.

Also, have you tried Saigon Beach Restaurant in Newport Beach/Balboa Peninsula? I’m wondering if it’s any good like the real joints in Little Saigon.


I was there yesterday! That banh mi is a delight…and even better when you can convince them to cook the eggs over easy.
I also tried Cococane for the first time. The Hawaiian was a delight, and my friend’s mom enjoyed the original coconut. My only complaint was the coconut meat itself wasn’t entirely ready to be harvested…it was super hard and rather tasteless. Still a refreshing drink on a warm day.


I occasionally go down to Newport Beach and I have eaten at Saigon Beach a few times. Didn’t think it was any special and yes I know the ratings at Yelp.

I don’t drink but I go to Cassidy’s bar across the street and get their burgers. Sometimes TK Burger. Da Hawaiian Kitchen opened up a second location around the pier. I also hit up Banzai Bowls for a smoothie. Other than that I don’t really eat much around the area. Costa Mesa has a lot more options just a short drive away. Authentic Japanese, Cuban, Taco Maria, Sidecar Donuts, Chicken Maison, etc.

There are 2 locations of Saigon Bakery:
-Brookhurst x Westminster, next to the Target. The sign is actually “Banh Mi Saigon”.
-Magnolia x Westminster, it’s on the Southwest quadrant right next to a supermarket I believe. If you been to Ngu Binh/Pho Ga Hai Van it’s the plaza across Magnolia.