Time sure flies. Back in mid-February, the Missus and I did a two-fer road trip to Little Saigon. Both destinations were recommendations. The first was made by "Kha" commenting on this post. It was in regards to Cha Ca Thang Long, which is basically fish which uses two items not often mentioned with regards to Vietnamese cuisine; dill and tumeric. The dish is a specialty of Hanoi and we ate it at Cha Ca Thang Long Restaurant in Hoan Kiem District. We've had it at what I thought were the two, Vien Dong and Ha Noi best Cha Ca restaurants in the Little Saigon area. So when Kha mentioned a place called Song Long, which someone else inquired about before, mt curiosity was piqued. Kha then added that he'd had Cha Ca Thang Long at the namesake restaurant in Hanoi as well and his parents thought the Cha Ca at Song Long was better, well.......
Song Long Restaurant:
The interior of the place look like a diner/coffee shop and there was a funny combination Tet/Valentine's day display that was hilarious.
The menu is French influenced Vietnamese, with Bun Cha on one page and Nicoise Salad on the next. Since this arrived just after we sat down, I guess everyone get some bread.
Of course we got the Cha Ca Thang Long ($16.95) and guess what?
This was really good. The fish, which we were told was catfish, something that I usually won't order in the US, wasn't muddy tasting in the least. Tender and moist....and with a lot less oil than the stuff in Vietnam which is literally swimming in two inches of oil, topped with a liberal amount of fried shallots and dill, and a base of onions was delish with the huge amount of the usual suspects of bun, fresh herbs, and vegetables. The mam nem, a heady and wonderful mixture of fermented shrimp paste, a touch of chili, a sweet component, and acid was addictive and the Missus couldn't get enough.
So Kha, as far as we're concerned, your parents are totally right about the Cha Ca Thang Long.
Curiosity got the better of me as along with the fish I ordered the Escargots de Bourgogne ($6.95). Vietnamese love their snails and whelks so I expected this to be pretty good, but it was not.
This was rather cold, the herb butter greasy, and the snails were beyond rigor mortis. This was not good eats.
Overall, the service was decent, not particularly attentive, but this was Bolsa Avenue, so I didn't expect much. I'll be back for the cha ca thang long.....and I saw a bowl of Banh Mi Bo Kho walked pass me that was calling out to me. No more snails though.
Song Long Restaurant
9361 Bolsa Ave Suite 108
Westminster, CA 92683
Open Daily 9am - 10pm
Thanks for the recommendation Kha! Thank your parents as well, they know how to pick 'em.
As you can tell, we really didn't load up here as we had another stop after this one.