This is the northern extension of Summer Rolls in Rosemead, but what a difference a few miles make.
First, the food: it’s about the same as the one in Rosemead, but the menu is more limited. The food tastes the same. They have lemon grass beef or chicken in rolls which I don’t believe is available in the Rosemead location.
Second, the drinks: they advertise craft beers. In fact, they have a walk in refrigerator with a glass wall where you can see the bottles, kegs, and beverage delivery system. This is definitely different from the one in Rosemead.
Third, the facility itself: It’s a hipster type of place with exposed brick and beams. Inside, there is a small dining area for about 38 diners. Thirty of those seats are at long communal tables. There’s a small area for single diners that faces the courtyard. They have a glass wall similar to garage door that they open so these diners can enjoy the full spectrum of sound from Rosemead Blvd. traffic. Modern American music blaring from the speakers enhance the volume of the room. Faux antique incandescent lamps provide light. There is patio seating for about 20. Parking is much easier than at the Rosemead location. The kitchen is semi-open, so you can watch the rolls lovingly prepared by the two Latina prep cooks.
Fourth, everything else: it’s pretty much self service. You order at the counter, get a placard, and the food is brought to your table in simple metal containers or plastic takeout containers (minus the lids). You need to get your own water, napkins, chopsticks, etc. If you have food leftover, you need to get the lids for those same containers.
It’s a place designed for people without kids. The food is Central Vietnamese just like its cousin in Rosemead. But the clientele are decidedly different. My wife’s family were the only ones who spoke Vietnamese there. Most patrons were in their mid 20’s to early 30’s.
I don’t think I’ll go there again except for takeout. They have pagers because there’s almost no space inside to wait.
But reading it makes me want to boycott them even more. This key excerpt:
“Reached a $190,000 settlement on behalf of three workers who were victims of wage theft while employed at a Rosemead restaurant, Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa. The settlement comes after the owners faced a lawsuit for fraudulently transferring the restaurant’s ownership to avoid paying the workers their back pay.”
So not only were they corrupt enough for wage theft and not paying their employees, but in addition, they changed the name of their restaurant (from Nem Nuong to “Summer Rolls” to try and avoid paying them their back pay.
Why do you say that? I had a pleasant meal + beer there with my 3 year old. They even had a high chair. I ate inside at the communal table and there were a couple other customers who brought their kids and they seemed to be doing fine.
We took our kids there, but it was not designed for kids. Craft beer places don’t usually have families as the target clientele. The music selection, decor, and seating arrangements are designed to appeal to younger adults.
It’s certainly not designed for a typical Vietnamese family dinner: grandparents, parents, and children. The long communal tables make it hard for a party of ten because the two extremes are sitting ten feet away from each other.
Finally, it’s difficult to seat a party larger than four. All the outdoor tables are designed for at most four people. The long communal tables can’t hold more than two or three large families, especially if you have two or three small parties (e.g. 2-4 people) separated by one or two spaces from each other. It’s not that simple to ask them to scoot down, move the food, clean the table, and get elbow-to-elbow with another party so that a family of ten can sit together.