Little Saigon Adventures


Places looks good! They have lemon grass sausage, which sounds delicious.


Slightly off-topic.
Had lunch recently at Garlic & Chives new location in Artesia/Cerritos. I haven’t been to the original in OC, but was pretty impressed with what we ordered. Chicken wings were solid (but a bit too sweet for me), salmon belly rolls were great (I wish the sauce had more of a kick)…the rest of the dishes were reminiscent of what I ate growing up. Bo Luc Lac/Shaken beef was super good…each chunk was a perfect medium rare. We asked for the $2 optional garlic rice…and it was pretty garlicky (not a complaint). The grilled pork vermicelli noodles came with a rice papper-wrapped cha gio that was shatteringly crispy. The clay pot caramelized peppered pork belly and pickled mustard greens could almost rival my Mom’s (all it was missing was more black pepper) and it came with a bowl of rice that was crispy at the bottom.
Probably going to try it one more time, but I could see my family pretty happy with catering from this place.


I just realize that the baked catfish at Favori could be another option for that potluck. The skin stays pretty damn crispy!!


I think it would be great if you do decide to write more about your experience to post in a separate thread. While this is a fantastic thread by @JeetKuneBao, it’s honestly super long and if some place is great, why not give the restaurant a little more credit? Little Saigon restaurants are diverse and can be hard to discover/ decipher for the nonvietnamese or non regular. A separate thread will help that and not lump the entirety of little Saigon or Vietnamese restaurants into one thread. :smile: just my two cents.


I only put it here because I didn’t have photos from lunch…out with the co-workers. I’ll run a separate post when I do future visits with photos. I’m quite impressed with one lunch alone, though. Very reminiscent of dishes that Mom cooked (some she won’t do anymore because it’s “not healthy”), and the flavors are just as well developed. I may just take her to lunch here because it’s so close to our homes. On the plus side, they also have a full bar. Thanks, @hppzz!



Took a date to Mai’s Kitchen recently and was able to chat with the Son for a minute or two.

The Family Meal menu will be translated with pictures!!!

As for the food it was great! My date loved the carmelized catfish and sour catfish soup.

Also interesting is the water spinach…the Son made a sauce with chopped chiles and fish sauce. That was pretty good with a small spoonful. Reminds me a little of various Thai sauces with chiles, garlic, fish sauce, lime, etc.


What did you decide on that surprise dinner?


Hi, @JeetKuneBao…I’m actually finalizing the menu today. I’m ordering everything today and tomorrow.
Garlic & Chives - Pomelo salad and xoi lap xeoung (sticky rice with Chinese sausage)
Ben Ngu - Banh Beo, Banh Bot Loc La and Nem Chua

I’m hoping that’s enough food for about 20 in addition to the Newport lobsters (with noodles), the soup, Brodard rolls, assorted foie and pates, chicken wings, berry salad and fruit tart. I’m pretty sure it’s enough, but for some reason, it seems like less food than I usually order for a party.
I’m going to keep Chef Peter Hung in my back pocket for the next surprise party…which will probably my Dad’s 70th.


Lien Hoa BBQ Spicy Offal

(At a work potluck!!!)

~Cough~the best thing to get at Lien Hoa


When you a busy being the hostess, pics don’t happen. They also become hard when your cousins have you doing tequila shots throughout the night. Last night’s party was a resounding success. Some things got shifted around and people brought even more food…the buffet was packed.
The Ben Ngu banh beo, banh bot loc la, and nem chua was great…and super reasonably priced. I would totally cater from here, again. One of my food mules was running late, so they called to make sure we didn’t forget as the banh beo and banh bot loc la were freshly steamed. I thought that was nice.
The Garlic & Chives pomelo salad was so good! Its now my favorite goi of all time. They packed 3 orders in a large foil party tray, and it felt super heavy. I’m pretty sure I got more than 3 orders. There wasn’t any leftover by the end of the night. So glad they’ve got an outpost closer to my neighborhood.
In addition to all the stuff I catered and assembled, there were contributions of more rolls from Brodard, Lien Hoa Peking duck, and banh uot from Teo Sandwiches.


Was in the neighborhood and the kid wanted a banh mi, so we hopped over to Ba Le Sandwiches on Bolsa.
God love a place that bakes their own bread and makes pretty much all of their banh mi components. The kid got the Thit Heo Nuong (grilled pork) and I got the Dac Biet (house special with cha lua/pork roll, headcheese, and jambon). There’s nothing better than biting into a banh mi when the bread is still warm and the pâté oozes out a little. The grilled pork reminds me of KBBQ bulgogi. The kid thinks this is the best banh mi ever…and for less than $4 (or cheaper when it’s buy 5 get 1 free).


Ba Le on Bolsa is one of my top Banh Mi spots!!!

Yes everything is homemade! The pate! The mayo!!

IMO one of the most underrated spots in Little Saigon!


the Ba Le in 626 is also good.


Mia has a brick and mortar now in Fountain Valley.

This is the best sugarcane juice stand in Little Saigon.

End of story.

It is so creamy and good.


Ended up at Boiling Crab tonight because one of the chowpups asked for it. Grabbed some bread at Banh Mi Che Cali before going in. There’s something so satisfying about having fresh bread with the Cajun butter sauce and seafood. Currently not serving live crawfish, Dungeness, and blue crab.
The line for Boiling Point a few doors down was nuts.


OC Pho Festival this weekend at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley

I might go for my continued search for the perfect bowl of Hanoi/Northern style Pho.


…byobread is genius


Some other news:

The Pho 79 family has opened a new pho restaurant called Pho 101. It’s right next to Bella Terra. Not a bad choice if you are in the area…REI, Barnes and Noble, stock up on some Humphrey Slocombe ice cream at Whole Paycheck…bam some pho!! Or you can go to Arby’s lol but the insider move for that area is to go to Huckleberry and get the chicken salad on squaw bread

Very modern look inside and it lack the charm and feel of the OG 79.


BYOBread to Boiling Crab…fukin genius!!!

Gave me an idea…hit up Saigon Bakery across the street in that Target plaza get some Banh Mi’s and fill that up with some Boiling Crab.

In the same plaza can also do Lien Hoa BBQ offal cuts into a Saigon Bakery Banh Mi

I need to do this DIY Mash Up Banh Mi soon


Your kids got good taste. I know grownups that don’t mess with viet-Cajun crawfish. That comment about Ba Le being the best Banh Mi warmed my heart.

Do they like to eat at Trieu Chau lol?