Little Saigon Adventures


None the less your SGV coverage is appreciated.


Seeking out:

Bo La Lot ( thinking ala carte at 7 Course Beef places)

Baked Catfish (Favori?)

The best damn egg rolls (with lettuce/herbs/fish sauce to roll up in)


Thien An Bo 7 Mon


+1 Thien An.


Mai’s Kitchen Family Meal Translation

(Note I will not be using proper thingy above the letter for tonal thing, I used Google Translate/Search and will link the first search/or whatever looks good, using Vietnamese Food ____(name of dish)


Ca Kho To. Braised Catfish with carmel sauce.

Consider essential Viet home style dish.

Ca Ro Chien. Deep Fried Seabass.

Only Pinterest. I am definitely not a Pinterest guy, ever.

Ca Lu Du Uop Xa. Marinated Mackerel.
Halp!!! Couldn’t find much

Suon Rim. Carmelized Pork Ribs

This is also very common. Maybe 2nd most popular???

Thit Rim. Same as above but just pork pieces.

Tom Rim. Carmelized Shrimp.

Thit Rim Tom. Same as above but both Pork and Shrimp. Sounds yummy!!

Protein continue…


Mai’s Kitchen Family Meal translation continue…


Ga Kho Xa Ot. Spicy Lemongrass Chicken.

Trung Duc Thit. Meat Molded Eggs. Can’t find much on this

Dau Hu Non Chien Don. Fried Crispy Tofu. Not much either but pretty straight forward.

Thit Ba Roi Chung Mam. Google Translate said it’s “whole bacon”. I am guessing pork Belly with Fermented Sauce.

Dau Hu Nhoi Thit Sot Ca Chua. Tofu stuffed with Pork in Tomato Sauce.

This looks tasty! With plenty of search hits I am guessing this is popular!

Bo Luc Lac. Shaking Beef. Needs no explanation!!! Probably the most common protein dish known by non-Viets.

Thit Heo Kho Tau. Braised Pork and Eggs.

Okay that’s the whole Protein part of the family meal. Next will be Vegetable. Soup will be after that…


Any of you Bolsa kids feel free to correct or add…


Rau Muong Xao Toi. Stir Fry Water Spinach with Garlic.

The most popular veggie dish!!!
Chinese, and Thai also loves this!!!

Rau Xao Thap Cam. Mixed Vegetables. ??

Bong Chi Xanh Xao Bo. Beef and Broccoli? Chinese or Murican broccoli? I don’t know…google search shows Murican.

Muop Xao Heo/Tom. Loofah melon with pork or shrimp. Not much here. But we Chinese also love this dish!

Muc Hoac Tom Xao Chua Ngot. Not much I can find but Sweet and Sour Shrimp or Squid?

Kho Qua Xao Trung. Bitter Melon and Eggs.

Bitter melon is for Grandmas!

Cai Xanh Xao Heo/Tom. Mustard Green with Pork/Shrimp…I think?

Cai Ngot Heo/Tom. Choy Sum/Yu Choy with Pork/Shrimp. Yummy

Ca Tim Xao Thit Heo Hoac Dau Hu. Eggplant Pork Tofu. We Chinese also like this.

Ca Tim Nuong Mo Hanh. Grilled Eggplant and Green Onion.

Okay Vegetable part done. Taking a break before I tackle the Soup part.


+1 on Thien An
The sister restaurant is Hong An Bo 7 Mon on the other side of Brodard Restaurant in the Fortune strip mall. Hong An makes a great Bo La Lot. The catfish here is good, too…just make sure you have enough people so you can share…also if you go whole hog and do the 7 courses of beef, 1 serving is enough for 2 people…for a table of 8-10, we get 4-5 portions of bo 7 mon and a catfish. Disclaimer…I’m related to the Hong An location and mildly related to the Thien An location. Many of the recipes are the same.


Surprised I didn’t see Sardines In Tomato Sauce with Black Pepper!!

Maybe so homestyle Mai’s won’t serve it. Or maybe no one will buy canned sardines! Add garlic, onions, and more tomato sauce. Probably still not worth selling.

Needs to be mentioned!!! Even though Little Saigon restaurants don’t sell it


Wow! Mai’s really does offer a lot of home-style dishes. That menu is like a greatest hits of my Mom’s repertoire. Some she still makes for dinner for my Dad today, some she’s abandoned because she’s trying to be more healthy…the Rim dishes (so good, but pretty salty).
There’s one dish that’s one of my favorites that she totally gave up on because it was on the higher spectrum for cholesterol and salt…Tom Kho…whole giant prawns braised in this seafood-y oily broth. I would douse my rice in the braising liquid and end up with soupy rice because I loved the sauce so much.
Ca moi is a pretty simple dish. You sauté a ton of sliced onions until translucent in butter, add a can or two of tomato sauce, salt, a ton of black pepper, a touch of sugar, and then as many cans of those sardines as you want. I think my Mom drains the sardines of the oil. Stir very gently so you don’t break up the sardines.
I’m surprised bittermelon with eggs is on the Mai’s menu. It’s also a simple dish. Mom makes it pretty often for my Dad when she’s lazy and doesn’t want to try that hard…she throws in some dried shrimp to give it some texture.


Fell asleep but the Soup part of the menu will be done, probably not today


Thought I would put this in here. I know there are some omissions especially as it pertains to some of the less known dishes and I was definitely going for the more general side of things, but you guys should check it out and let me know what you think (either here or :heart: preferably on the article itself :heart:)


Thanks for putting out a list for Little Saigon. I know it was wasn’t easy.

Ngu Binh/Ben Ngu

Saigon Bakery

^^^those might be considered essential Little Saigon.

Hey FTC’ers he didn’t mentioned the Oxtail at 79 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Yeah I let the banh kots and banh it rams slide this time around, and also your Hanoi-style pho at Pho B :wink:


Dropped in for lunch today. Had the Pho Dac Biet. Everything was great except the beef ribs. They weren’t bad, just not remarkable. I hadn’t been in since they first opened and didn’t have a complete menu. I’ll be putting this in our regular rotation. It’s too good, and too close not to go more.


General is fine for those of us (like me) who know virtually nothing about the OC food scene. I like how you provided analogous dishes in other cuisines. You mentioned southern-style pho a couple of times. A nice companion article might be to compare the regional difference in Vietnamese food (even if there aren’t restaurants in LA/OC that you can point to). Actually, if someone could write an article like that for Thai food, that’d be lovely. :slight_smile:


I really appreciate the kind words.

Crystal called dibs on the Thai food map update in the last round of updates so that’s probably on its way. Man, I would love to tackle the different regions of Vietnamese food. It would be pretty tough, though. The vast majority of Little Saigon practices Southern-style cooking (due to the huge refugee community there). That’s why there’s such a struggle to find a real Hanoi-style pho (and @JeetKuneBao is all about that Pho B). My girlfriend who is from Bangkok (where Northern-style pho is much more prominent) laments the lack of good Hanoi pho out here, as well.

I know some people frown upon the practice of comparing dishes to foods from other cultures, but I think it’s mostly helpful and I try to be culturally sensitive about it.


RIP Pho Minh.


A place that specialize in egg rolls, mam, and curry goat.

Was recommended to try #26

I like. Light crispy batter with a good filling wrapped with rice noodle, lettuce, and herbs.

Goat Curry. Interesting dish. This is more spice-based than aromatic based, but not as intense. This is very gamey. Not my cup of tea but I wanted to try a unique Vietnamese dish.