After making 5 stops on Beach's whirlwind tour of Little Saigon, Beach turned to me and said, "ok, Kirk, let's get some real food now...."
5 - Cho Cu Bakery:
Beach had remembered that I had become fond of the "bread" in Vietnam. It was light, very flaky (vs crusty), and had a nice yeasty flavor. So our next stop was Cho Cu Bakery, which is located in yet another strip mall in Westminster.
The bread, is light, and fairly flaky. A bit more substantial than baguettes we had in Hanoi, but it was the closest I've had since we returned. I used half of the baguette for Banh Mi Cha Com, and the rest became breakfast. A simple baguette with smiling cow cheese brought back memories of breakfast in Sapa.
Have you ever noticed that the worse the parking lot, the better the food????
Cho Cu Bakery
14520 Magnolia St
Westminster, CA 92683
6 - Quan Vy Da:
With Beach skillfull dodging of flying autos, we managed to extricate ourselves from from Cho Cu's parking lot. Beach turned to me and said, "let's eat lunch!" Beach decided to randomly check out a restaurant, and knowing my affinity for Bun Bo Hue, we made a lunch stop at Quan Vy Da.
Of course we both got Bun Bo Hue:
I thought the meat provided was the best I've had in a traditional (non-Pho shop) Bun Bo Hue. Soft, tender, and full of flavor. The noodles were cooked perfectly, not overcooked like many places tend to do. The soup was topped with Rau Ram(Vietnamese Coriander) in addition to the cilantro. The plate of herbs provided was adequate, and included thinly sliced banana blossom. I thought the soup could have been hotter, as I believe that the "garnishes" should be softened by the broth to add more flavor. The broth had a decent lemongrass flavor, but the heat was truly lacking. Both Beach and I noted how mild the broth was. Overall, this was pretty good.
The Banh Beo, those little discs of steamed rice flour, were the best I've had.
Wonderfully pliable, moist, with a mild chew, these were great. The ground shrimp topping these wonderful little discs added texture and saltiness. The overall effect was a fantastic savory, with just a hint of sweetness in the background. A splash of fish sauce topped everything off with a touch of umami.
This was a wonderful way to end this road trip for me.
Quan Vy Da
9950 Bolsa Avenue
Westminster, CA 92683
Driving home to San Diego, with my back seats full of my bounty, I could only marvel at how blessed I've been. Food Blogging sometimes has its down days, but there have always been more "ups". Without doing this food blogging thing, I would have been deprived of knowing so many wonderful and generous folks. Like Beach.....
Thanks again for your warm and generous heart Beach!