Little Saigon Adventures

Not to take away from Trieu Chau and Phnom Penh Noodle/“The Shack”. Those 2 places are classic and are a must-eat, with one being Vietnamese and the other Cambodian, respectively.

Both here in Little Saigon, there are 2 Hu Tieu joints literally a minute walk from each other.

1st up:

Condiments are a must! Pickled garlic and chiles

And the star, Dry Hu Tieu Nam Vang with soup and some real good tomato sauce, better than Scott Conants tomato sauce! Phuongs is known for the clear noodles. Get the clear noodles. Get the beans sprouts steamed, too.


Next up is Co Ba

A little more modern interior.

Greeted with a menu and condiments

And this time I got half egg noodle half rice noodle(tossed in some tasty brown sauce?)
This one has fried pork fat pieces and the soup has a pork bone and pork belly.

The verdict. TIE.

Both delicious for different reasons both slightly different of the same dish. Both places should be visited!!


That jar of garlic is calling to me. Loud, and vociferously.

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I piled on the garlic and the garlic juices.

Then I went to a nearby coffeeshop with my garlic breath. Not even a avocado smoothie can cover it up. I wish more noodle houses had a side of garlic.

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Little Saigon Battle Bang Bang Part 2 featuring Bo Kho/Beef Stew

First up:
Le Crossiant Dore

No flavor in the stew. Pieces of beef were okay. Meh. They are also known for their fruit custard tarts. Not much meat and veg.

Down the street:
Song Long

Stew had a good tomato-beef flavor. A lot more meat and a lot more tendons that were nicely tender.

Winner: Song Long


you only go to croissant dore for the fruit tarts. those godly fucking fruit tarts.

song long is truly a little saigon OG, and one of few serving OG french/vietnamese fare. i’ve eaten tons of breakfast there, usually eating the eggs w/ bread, the beef stew, or the chicken/fish noodle soup (hu tieu ga ca)


I remember having escargot at Song Long when I was little…and sopping up the garlic butter with a fresh warm baguette. The beef stew was excellent there, too. Haven’t been there in ages.

The fruit tarts at Long Phung (up on Magnolia and Westminster) are even better.

Plus, great prices on fresh orchids (even better than Trader Joe’s)

Decided to just turn this into a Little Saigon food adventure…previous tasty places

Trieu Chau:

Supermarket Lobster:

Mai’s Kitchen:

Sugarcane Juice:

Phat Ky Mi Ga and Tai Buu Paris

Kim Ky:

Thanh Tam

Hue Oi

Went to Cay Dua and had the Banh Xeo and Bun Mam. You can smell the mam (fermented anchovy paste) when walking in.
Banh Xeo
Crispy!!! Shrimp and bean sprouts in the crepe with a hint of coconut milk. Cut a piece and place it in the lettuce with some mint leaves, dip it in some sweet sauce and enjoy. One of my favorite Vietnamese dishes. I might like this better than Van’s.

Bun Mam
Comes with a plate of herbs/veggies/limes/chopped chiles/sprouts added those in and with some tableside chili sauce. Mix well. Definitely taste the funk in this, but not as funky as Lao-style papaya salad. Overall taste is savory-umami with a touch of fermented funk.

Cash only.


Nha Hang Van

Known for their Banh Xeo/Banh Khot.

Got the Banh Khot. I alternate between both. Banh Khot is smaller, kinda like a Thai Coconut Cake but same batter as Banh Xeo.

The Banh Khot. I love the smell when it hits the table!!

Plate of lettuce and herbs.

To eat: take some lettuce and add some herbs, place Banh Khot on top, (add a little chile sauce if you want), wrap up, then dip into the fish sauce or spoon it. Enjoy!

Got Pennywort drink. Not quite grassy like wheatgrass more mild and slightly sweet. I don’t know any other people who drinks this than Vietnamese.

Got a tasty little dessert to go.

Banh Khot/Banh Xeo is one of my favorite dishes if you have a chance to try it in SGV/Little Saigon please do so!!


@ Xhuan Phat (SF Garden Grove Super Store)

Mam! A whole section!!


2018 Little Saigon goals:

-Use my Google-Fu and translate Mai’s Kitchen homestyle menu and try the other dishes. Or just get a Vietnamese GF.

-Vietnamese Bar Food, mostly seafood based. OC and Lau, and Tram Chim seem to be the 2 more popular places. OC and Lau seems more approachable.

-Vietnamese vegetarian food. Little Saigon has a lot. I also wonder if any of the Buddhist temples have food to help support.

-Dessert places. I know I could get away with pointing. These places are hard to crack. No English menu. Will use Google-Fu to assist.

-Explore the possibility of DIY Banh Mi. Meaning I buy hot baguette, pickled veg, and pate at one place and Chinese BBQ at New Duong Son to make my own Banh Mi. Or cook up some sardines in tomato sauce and put that in a Banh Mi, but over rice is heavenly!!!

-Check out some of the to-go places.
Looks tasty tbh.

-Bun Cha Hanoi. Looking for the best in Little Saigon.

-Continue to seek out the specialists.

-I really wish the fruit stores will do a mix cup of fruit like out in LA with the Rainbow Umbrella Fruit Stands. Seriously, can you imagine jackfruit, mango, coconut, dragon fruit, papaya, durian, soursop, lychee, star fruit, etc with a squirt of some limes??? Oh my gud!!

-Try more noodle soups!!! Bun Thang is one. There is a place doing Bun Bo from different regions.

That’s all for now!


Sri Lankans do. We call it Gotu Kola. I have bad memories of my mother practically shoving the juice down my throat at the first sign of any sort of illness when I was a child. :persevere:

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@JeetKuneBao I admire your sense of adventure and fortitude. Let’s see if I can help with some of your goals…
Vietnamese Bar Food - I grew up eating all of that at home. Mom would throw all of the stuff into the hot pot. I’ve never had that at a restaurant before…super excited to see your adventures there.
Vietnamese vegetarian - Yes, most of the large temples have offer a food service side hustle. Chua Duoc Su (11111 Magnolia St. Garden Grove) has offerings on Saturday and Sunday mornings in the back of the parking lot in front of the nun’s dormitories (cash only…these ladies aren’t ready for FourSquare). They make “beef” jerky, curry, stir-frys, and this cold shredded vegetarian salad whose name escapes my memory and vocabulary right now (when you don’t use it, you lose it.) You also need to make it in way before noon because they do run out. Parking can be a pain here, too. My Mom’s been turning more into vegetarian now that she’s older…I’ll have to ask her for recommendations…I do know she’s been cooking a lot of it and using my sister as her guinea pig.
Desserts - Che (pudding) is big in amongst the community. My favorite is the che suong sa hot luu - gelatin with tapioca-like pearls (made to look like pomegranate seeds) in a light coconut cream. Another one my favorites is the tapioca balls filled with mung bean in a light coconut cream…it’s been so long that I’ve forgotten the name, too. Che bap (corn pudding) is also great if you like corn, and che chuoi (banana pudding) is good if you like banana. Com ruou (literally rice wine) pudding are fermented rice balls and the aroma reminds me of sake…the smell can be quite potent, but it’s really not very boozy at all. When we were little, The silken tofu in ginger syrup is also a solid dessert, but I think that qualifies as Chinese. Mom would buy it at Banh Mi Che Cali because of their cheap deals…she only made a handful of these items at home because they can be rather labor intensive.
DYI banh mi - I think you’ll enjoy this the most. You can source all of your favorites from your favorite locations and fill with your desired choice of meat. This was my Saturday/Sunday morning breakfast growing up.
Hope this list helps a bit. I’ll have to ask Mom for some more specific recs for you.


They drink it in Malaysia as well.

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I was very underwhelmed w/ OC and Lau, but it certainly has that VN feel with the tables packed super tight together.

There’s another “nhau” place on McFadden…

Used to be another “nhau” place down by Newport Seafood but evidently that place is now called “Pho Time”.


7 courses of goat? I didn’t know such a thing existed…likely because Mom’s not a goat fan and Mom drove our dining growing up.

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most of the dishes there are too hardcore for me. I don’t think I can do it.

like this lovely example :

Pho 45

The window advertises Pho Bac aka Northern Pho aka Hanoi Pho

The scent hit my nose and then I tried the broth and was hit with a strong punch of clove/anise/cinnamon. For the record I never had Pho in Hanoi, but I know that it shouldn’t be this spice heavy. Then was offered a plate of sprouts/herbs.

False advertising.

SGV(Pho Huynh or Pho Filet) or Turtle Tower in SF Tenderloin looks promising.

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a good nerd

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Nerd on, I say!

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