Trieu Chau-Little Saigon Classic, Most Gangsta

For avoidance of doubt:

IMO get #49 or #50 for your first time

What is the difference between the two? Pork versus pork chop? What kind of pork is it in #49, if you happen to know?

Any idea what Vietnamese sausage or pickled pork are (from the other selections)?

Yes, it is pork “slices” vs pork chop. If you’ve had a pork banh mi, it’s the same meat in #49. I have no idea what cut of pork this is TBH. VN pork chop is always sliced thin for maximum marinade effect. So never go in expecting Sotto style chop.

BBQ pickled pork is the same pink-ish pork sausage thing that they use in the Brodard style rolls

Vietnamese sausage is same as chinese sausage

Siu Mai can be either a meatball or a patty depending on the region of Vietnam the restaurant serves.
With regards to BMCC and Lee’s, I’m pretty sure BMCC came first. My Dad is an old village friend of the Le family, and they were still doing food trucks when BMCC first opened down here.

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Oh, forgot to answer this - yes. They were the first game in town (IIRC) to do the fresh in house baked bread thing and banged them out all day. Due to volume the bread you got was always got and fresh. Hot and fresh French bread > *. If you’re getting the baguettes, they are admittedly terrible.

I don’t. I just know that I have been to the place you bookmarked a few times and it was meh.

All these places are great, in no order:

Ngu Binh

Kang Lac

Binh Dan

Dat Thanh

Phat Ky Mi Gia

Saigon Deli Restaurant

TP Banh Bao 2

And of course, the star of the thread, Trieu Chau is one of the very best places in all of Orange County. Hell, it’s on my list of must-eats for the whole greater LA area.

Any particular dishes one should order from each? Have only had mi quang at Ngu Binh, was pretty great. Have had chicken chao at Kang Lac, pretty good comfort food when you have the flu haha

The Banh Baos look pretty interesting, guess that one is self-explanatory haha thanks!

Oh, Yelp says Dat Thanh is closed btw, you know if that’s true or an error?

You know, I should’ve mentioned my recs come with a grain of salt since I worked in westminster several years ago.

You can get all the same stuff and more at Brodard. I liked Dat Thanh a trivial amount better.

Ngu Binh bun bo hue

Kang Lac is like a Vietnamese/Chinese joint, at least that’s how it appears. They do steamed buns, a Vietnamese style hainan chicken (one of the best ones, IMO) a great beef noodle soup. It’s a Vietnamese style of all these dishes, which is a bit different in an appreciable way.

Binh Dan does this crazy 7 course goat thing. To be honest, I just thought the goat rolls in caul fat and some herb were amazing, and there were one or two dishes I really liked as well, I can’t remember. But usually I’d just get those rolls to go and so hit up Dat Thanh which (was) right next door.

PKMG makes an awesome duck soup in this sweet, herbal, dark broth with egg noodles. It’s an egg noodle place.

SDR bun bo hue also

Dat Thanh is indeed closed.

I used to buy cafe sua da from Kang Lac by the dozen. Sadly they got sweeter over the years.

They make a great goi ca hong binh dan (with lotus roots). Good stuff.

Ngu Binh makes an incredible cafe sua da. It changed my whole outlook on what it is supposed to be. It is deeply roasty, and dark, yet nearly like a milkshake in viscosity. I recall getting a cafe sua da from somewhere else and it being so bad that I drove an extra 15 minutes out of my way to get one from Ngu Binh to waste the taste out of my mouth; and I was kind of really craving cafe sua da. Mmm

The 7 course of goat sounds rather great, and appears to be absurdly cheap at $18/person (possibly menu shots on Yelp are outdated though).

The idea is to also order other stuff as well? Do the rolls in caul fat come as part of the 7 course?

Yeah they’re one of the courses. The 7 course meal is definitely worth doing at least once, just for the experience of it. It certainly takes you on a food journey to another place. But most of the dishes for me skewed more “interesting” than “appetizing.” They’re good enough to enjoy, fun to experience, but I found there were only a couple dishes worth going back to again and again. The rest of the menu, however, has some really interesting and tasty stuff. I regret not trying more of it, but it’s definitely buyer beware if you’re like me and this isn’t familiar cuisine.

The rolls I mentioned before are on the menu as “De nuong la lot mo chai”

From my many months in 'minster, I gather that “De” = goat, nuong = grilled, “la lot” are the leaves they’re wrapped in (betel, I think) and mo chai must mean “crack cocaine” because these things are pretty addictive!

The cuisine is what I learned is called “quan nhau” – basically drinking food. It’s man food. Weird, gamey meats, clams, blood, offal, and it all goes great with beer.

The quan nhau places in Westminster are very off the map, underexplored and for the most part, not at all user-friendly. Not a lot of English spoken there so it kind of helps to be able to speak ‘menu’ like I learned to. There are some great meals in this genre out there, though. For the bold!

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I don’t currently speak any Vietnamese, are you saying you actually need to study it a bit to get to a light conversational mode before going to these places?

I am pretty down for unusual stuff most of the time.

It’s funny to me that offal has a “manly” reputation. The only time I’ve known of any kind of gendered distinction in food has been out with Korean friends, and the girls always like the intestines more than the guys, and they said that is quite common. So to me offal is like a woman’s thing more than a man’s thing if it’s any such thing at all (although I don’t think it is…).

I certainly never studied Vietnamese. I don’t know any words in Vietnamese that aren’t on a menu. That’s what I mean by “speaking ‘menu.’”

It’s just like with any food from a country that speaks a different language. If you eat enough of it and pay attention, eventually you can navigate a menu pretty well. I mean, for most cuisines’ food, I only know their word for it. There is no standard English common name for ‘khao soi,’ for example.

Vietnamese food might take a little more work because most of us probably aren’t as familiar with ‘bo nuong’ as we are with ‘carne asada,’ just by virtue of where we live. You might need a little of that familiarity when you go to a Vietnamese place with no English menu, but you can always use google to help you. either to translate or just doing an image search for what you see on the menu. Another little challenge is that pronouncing Vietnamese words correctly (or even understandably) isn’t nearly as easy as you’d think given that we use the same alphabet. I butcher it obscenely, I’m sure.

I haven’t quite gotten this trick to work at places where the menu’s all in Chinese yet… :smirk_cat: Thankfully, the only Chinese-menu-only places I’ve been to are liberal with the pictures. I think we’re all fluent in food pictures! In my experience, Vietnamese-only menus also probably won’t have pictures.

I’d say out of all the weird places I’ve eaten at, the Vietnamese bar-food places had the greatest barrier to entry. It’s a worthy adventure for the bold and so-inclined. Plenty of one-star yelp reviews out there for the people who don’t know what they’re getting themselves into, though.

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