Little Saigon Adventures

The food adventures continues my friends

Canton Restaurant

Not much on the outside and a weird “House of Soup” sign. No soup for you here!

“Dac Biet” is the 2 most useful words when navigating thru Little Saigon restaurants.

Fish Porridge. Right off the bat the fish is definitely not the hint-of-mud taste farm tilapia.

The porridge itself is one of the best I had, it is not too creamy or too watery, just perfect.
Be sure to be liberal with the white pepper and try to get a little ginger with every fish.

Rice porridge is one of the most important dishes in Asian cooking, and is indeed soul food.

Parts for the Sizzling Tumeric Dill Fish. This is a Hanoi speciality, although Bun Cha Hanoi is the most popular, this is probably a close second and is certainly a unique dish in Vietnamese cuisine. Dill? Tumeric?

And when it arrives your senses go to work! That sizzle! All that dill and onion! The aroma!

Close up of the fish, dill, and onions. Nice and carmelized. Next time I would try shove more dill/onions to the bottom.

Every bowl is personalized to taste. Grab some noodles. Spoon in some of that fermented sauce, you only need a little as it is some very powerful funk. Add some peanuts and crackers. Add in some herbs and lettuce. Enjoy the different tastes and textures. A very fun and tasty dish to enjoy.

Service is whatever and I got a feeling that the Son is pretty sick/bored/annoyed being there. Does he not realize or care Mom-n-Pop makes some damn good food?!?!


Thanh Son Tofu

I wish the Pandan was more prominent but none the less this was some good soy milk and it was warm! Warm soy milk tastes so much better. This was $3.25. Definitely coming back for some other things here.


Broken Rice. A meal for any time of the day!!

Com Tam Tran Quy Cap

Mustard green soup.
Broken Rice with pickles, shrimp, egg loaf, shrimp loaf, pork chop, and pork skin. Forgot the egg! I’m not being trendy! The Vietnamese have done the whole “add a egg” way before every Chef in the country started doing it. Added some of the fish sauce and chile sauce to the dish. Shrimp and pork chop had some good grill flavor. I really enjoy the texture of broken rice and love even more how a throw away item becomes a Saigon street food favorite.

The good thing about these Com Tam places is you don’t have the Uncles standing over you waiting for you to order in 30 seconds or less! There is easily over 2 dozen ways of enjoying this dish.

I wanna try Thanh’s next.


You make me miss my hometown so much.

Have you been to BAMBU yet? They make my favorite cafe sua da so far.

Never been but I’ll be sure to try it out.

You coming down for Tet next month?

Mom used to buy the silken tofu with ginger syrup dessert there…and soy milk. She also like their fresh tofu before competition kicked in and she defected to them.
@JeetKuneBao you are going Vietnamese full force. I admire your tenacity.
As a kid, I loved the shrimp paste on sugar cane…hell, I still love it…but love it more when the sugar can’t is switched out for snow crab claw.

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Panda soy milk is da fo shiznitz…

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This is outside of Bolsa area

In Anaheim not far from Disneyland, Honda Center, and Angel Stadium. Certainly a place to fill up before going to an event.

Menu. Yup a little more than your typical Banh Mi joint.

Got to speak with the owner, who is a complete sweetheart, and the inspiration for this place was a childhood favorite in Saigon, a family street stall that only made roasted chicken Banh Mi’s.

And that is the most popular item here or anything with roasted chicken.

Com Ga Roti.
Got a quarter with egg. I recommend getting all dark. Nicely seasoned with some crisp skin. I also recommend getting the chicken broth.

Roast Chicken Banh Mi with egg. I always enjoyed eating this but I think I’ll ask if she can throw in some skin and thigh pieces.


I love that place, @JeetKuneBao. Next time, ask if they’ll do the fried egg in your banh mi instead of the scramble. It also works well with the lemongrass beef. My husband is a fan of their bo kho/beef stew…ask for spicy…it works well when we can’t get a supply from my Mom.


I will most definitely ask for a fried egg instead and I love bo kho!

Was wondering what you Bolsa kids think of Ba Le? I read they make their own cold cuts, pate, and mayo. The bread has a smooth crust instead of being slightly crackly

Ba Le is OG. Can’t comment on the 714 location but the 626 Ba Le is great.

Same plaza as Brodards/Garlic-Chives/85.

I like this painting

A Hanoi specialist.

Bun Cha Hanoi. Very solid here, pork had some good grilled flavor.

Bun Bung. Read about this dish when researching Hanoi food. Not really sure how it is suppose to taste, mostly sour with some potatoy-yuccay notes. Visually very stunning. The pork ribs appeared to be cooked prior. Added lime and chile sauce.

how was the pork meat patty? Any comparison to the OG Hanoi restaurant near Asian Garden mall?

Not well formed patties but the flavor is there.

Not sure which place by Garden Mall. I know across the street Pho Quang Trung does Bun Cha, actually had a Viet coworker recommend it

Pho Ga Hai Van at Westminster x Magnolia (same plaza as Ngu Binh), IMO the best pho ga in town. Forgot to take pics.

God I love 7 Leaves Mung Bean milk tea, warm and less sweet.

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Speaking of Ngu Binh, it was a mom and pop, until they got divorce and mom opened up Ben Ngu lol!

Some Little Saigon restaurant drama!

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Just wanted to thank you for your contributions. It must take a tremendous amount of discipline to eat through and document each of these shops. Couple questions — have you tried Thanh Mai’s banh xeo, and since you stated that banh xeo is one of your favorite dishes: What makes a good, proper banh xeo for you specifically?

Also, have you been able to find a truly great pho bac in Little Saigon? I’m feeling pretty stumped; lots of great pho nam.


I have not had Thanh Mai’s but I will definitely try it. I really don’t know what makes a good one. I just know what I like personally.

I don’t think there is a legit Hanoi style Pho in Little Saigon. SF’s Turtle Tower and some places in SGV seem to do it right. Pho B in Huntington Beach does a Hanoi style Pho.

There been a few times when the broth at Pho B was out of this world good. Pure. I just skipped the basil, and sprouts.

@euno, what are your favorite Pho places?

For me:
Pho Ga: Pho Ga Hai Van and Pho Dakao
Pho Hanoi: Pho B
Pho Saigon: Pho 79

I really want to try something else besides Pho 79


I have a few mixed feelings on a truly great Hanoi-style pho; one of my best friends is Vietnamese, and actually it was his father who made a proper pho bac for me for the first time, a very clean beef-based broth with minimal garnish or spice that was refreshing without the assistance of juiced limes. As far as I know great examples of it are hard to come by; that friend’s father claims the best are in Vietnam, and he has yet to find a practitioner of a proper pho bac broth Stateside.

The dominant style at least in Little Saigon appears to be pho nam and pho ga, for obvious reasons.

Pho 79 has its contrarians though their reasoning is generally lacking in uniformity/clarity. It’s my favorite pho as the blend of spices used has always had a very comforting effect on me. I’m partial to the star anise. I also really like Pho Quang Trung, for a very decent pho and an even better bun bo hue (and of course, those great dao chao quay crullers :slight_smile:)

My favorite Pho Ga is at Pho Dakao, though oftentimes I’ll just be cheap and get that $4.50 pho ga (not sure if it’s still that cheap) at Pho Vie due east of Westminster and Brookhurst. Pho Ga Hai Van is also excellent. My only beef against Pho B is the overall unctuousness of the broth, it’s a little bit heavy and doesn’t get much help to lighten it.

Up north I do like Phorage (though I haven’t been in some time), and Golden Deli.