A Weekend in Little Saigon - Delectable Meatball and Cold Cut Banh Mi Sandwiches (Ba Le Westminster), Refreshing Cococane, Steaming Beef Noodle Soups, Crunchy & Silky Rice Cakes and Vietnamese Ice Coffee (Phin Smith) [Thoughts + Pics]



Yes the frozen egg rolls are meant to be a buy a ton and fry up at home, not a go there and buy and report on FTC type item =P

And the cafe sua da at THH doesn’t normally look like that…that almost looks like a cafe da den (coffee iced black) instead of a cafe sua da (coffee condensed milk iced). I mean it is usually on the “danker” side but certainly nothing like that…

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Outstanding recap of your eating adventures!

We go to this place all the time! but at least to our family, they the best and only thing we get there is the pork floss! The to go fry at home egg rolls are pretty average and indeed better when fried at home, we just prefer rice paper wrapped egg rolls over wheat paper.

Sorry to hear that, we’ve only had snappy fresh tasting chicken ever time. Hopefully that’s an anomaly. Agreed the ginger sauce is a tad sweet.

When we can’t make our own, we get the pate here.

this is our fav sugarcane spot too. Glad the second generation is putting a fun twist to the original.

Quan hy and Quan hop, were some of the early pioneers of regional central cuisine…before Ngu Binh. if you’re up for it, maybe do a run down on the banh beo chen that all these places serve…


Great sleuthing as usual!

The baguette is pretty darn good here. Never had a sandwich, always get a couple baguette to go.


Dang, you covered a lot of geound - great post. I can’t let my wife see any of the pics from Cococane, or we’ll probably have to move to Little Saigon. :joy:

Did you get to try any of the roast duck/pork specialists (hint hint)?


As always nice reporting Chowseeker! I’ll make note of some of the places you visit!

Did the oxtail side run out at Pho 79?

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Thanks for the great report @Chowseeker1999.

Instead of banh it ram, which I find pretty filling too, you may like the much lighter and tastier banh cuon. It’s like the northern vietnamese version of cheong fun, but thinner and filled with ground pork, and wood ear mushrooms and topped with cha lua, fried shallots, and fish sauce. I can easily pound back two plates for breakfast. Try it at @Ns1 approved pho tau bay or banh cuon tay ho.


I can easily put away 2 of those banh cuon at pho tau bay. Bang bang with Trieu Chau up the street. Or baked catfish at Favori - I’d love to hear a CS review of Favori, for better or worse.


Hi @Ns1,

Thanks! Yah now that I think about it, they might’ve given me a Cafe Da Den by accident? :sweat_smile: Definitely powerful and potent! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tip that the Cha Gio place is meant to buy the products frozen and fry it at home. :slight_smile:

Do you or @hppzz have any recommendations on frying technique / time / heat levels? Thanks!

I’m a peasant, I just fry at the usual temperature until the color is where I want it. treat it like fried chicken - you can either fully submerse or use less oil and flip halfway through. You don’t need to defrost.

Combine with some pre made fish sauce + lettuce + herbs = a great < 15 minute meal.


Hi @hppzz,

Thanks again for all your great recommendations! :slight_smile:

For Boulangerie, oh they have Pate there? I missed it. OK, we’ll get that next time. :slight_smile:

For Quan Hop, darn, we were so busy trying not to get too full, we missed the fact they had Banh Beo Chen. I love that dish! :slight_smile:

Hi @bulavinaka, @A5KOBE,

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Roast Duck/Pork! Aaaaah! That’s what we forgot when visiting. :cry: I knew I forgot something! I think it was @PorkyBelly or you or @Ns1 @A5KOBE that talked about some of these specialists before? I just remember drooling at the pics. :stuck_out_tongue:

Which ones should I go to? (I can’t seem to find any bookmarks about them, darn.) Thanks!

I dunno if you’re going to find the little Saigon roast meat experts all that exciting…after discovering “real” Peking duck I felt very lied to my entire childhoood.

Having said that, two of the longest running stores in little Saigon can be found next to each other - Lien Hoa Deli and Kang Lac Bakery. Refer to Yelp for pics. This is more of an “essential little Saigon” recommendation vs “best of little Saigon”.

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and next to them… new duong son


Interesting. I’ll have to check this out next time I’m back in little Saigon. Pick up a cafe sua da from BAMBU while I’m at it.


Oh this is the place below the old dragon Phoenix.

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Hi @JeetKuneBao,

Thanks again for all your invaluable reporting! :slight_smile:

Oh! I didn’t realize ordering Oxtail was the thing to do at Pho 79; I’ll make note of it for next time, thanks.

Hi @PorkyBelly,

Thank you. And Googling Banh Cuon…


That looks amazing! :grin: Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?! (j/k! LOL)

Are Banh Cuon usually only 1 type of filling? Or are there multiple flavors like the Dim Sum Steamed Rice Rolls (Cheong Fun)?

I’m so going to these places next time. Thanks @PorkyBelly @Ns1!

(Update: Oh, which Banh Cuon Tay Ho do you recommend? I see there are 4 of them!) Thanks.

The “pho Tau bay” branch. LOL.

You may as well go to the one next to Asian garden mall so you can bang^4 new duong son, lien hoa, and Kang lac.

Re: banh cuon there are several types but the two most common ones are the filled ones that porky belly mentioned and plain ones with Vietnamese meat loaf on top. It’s all drenched in fish sauce + bean sprout/herb mix.


@Chowseeker1999 You are a true OG.
I concur with @Ns1 with the cha gio. Rice paper wrap and bring it home to fry yourself. It’s great to have some saved up in your freezer for a rainy day…I brush off any ice crystals and vacu-seal to keep off excess frost/water…it helps reduce oil splatters. You should only order them from the store itself if they’re bringing you out a fresh batch…or if your visit occurs at the same time as a fresh batch is being released. Would you believe that I’ve only had the rice paper wrap a few times in my life…rice paper wrapper is a game changer.
Boulangerie makes some of the best baguettes in the OC. My cousin’s Dad used to own a bakery in France and prefers Boulangerie’s because he’s retired from the baking game now. @hppzz is right about the pâté. It’s quite good.
Can I make a weird suggestion? A DIY sandwich…bread and pâté from Boulangerie, mayo/aioli, Maggie, banh mi veg, and pork floss from Cha Gio Han Long…it’s a banh mi my Mom made for us when we were little for a snack or a lazy breakfast. It’s a little unorthodox, but it’s comforting to me. The pork floss also is great in chao (rice porridge) and com tam (broken rice).
I’ve never had Xiu Mai cold or lukewarm before…likely because I am a persnickety and only eat my Mom’s version…and that’s always served warm. I would think that other folks would serve it warm, too. Looks like I may be wrong in that perception.
My Mom gets her BBQ pork for her fried rice (she’s now too healthy to put in lep cheong) from New Duong Son. Our family has been ordering roast ducks and pigs for family parties there for quite some time now.
I usually get the plain Banh Cuon or the one with minced meat and wood ear mushroom mix. Add some lettuce, herbs, sliced cucumbers, slices of cha lua, nuoc mam, and some pickled vegetables and you have a complete meal.
Damn…now I want Vietnamese food, but I’m stuck home and quarantined with a cold. I need to get out next weekend.


Hi @Ns1,

Bookmarked Favori, thanks! :slight_smile: What do you recommend there?

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