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« Fall Back the mmm-yoso Way - Brunch at the Red Lion Hanalei Hotel | Main | Leilani's Cafe »

Monday, 30 October 2006



The 2 soup you guys had is pork base. The meatballs for the bun rieu - aka rieu is made of ground pork, eggs, and "damn I forgot what you call it."

Bun rieu and bo hue is more aromatic due to the fact of the YUMMY shrimp paste.

I'm so hungry now...geesh thanks!


Hi nhbilly - Sorry to stir up hunger pangs so early in the am. I've been told that this Bun Rieu is Pork and Crab based, and it's not quite as pungent as other versions.


Thanks for covering this place, it's a neighborhood favorite of mine that I think gets overlooked.
BTW, was that blood cake peeking out of the Bun Bo Hue? I thought you usually passed on that!


one day maybe it'll be open when i go during normal business dinner hours of 7pm !!!


Hi Kirk, glad you got to review the place, and that the Bun Bo Hue is very much to your liking.
I do love the broth at Mien Trung no matter what I ordered.

Hmm, must try some of the Nuoc Mam.
I'm hungry now. Must go there.

Andy 食神

the iron gates are usually in the back of the restaurant, but this one puts it front to invite customers inside.

that bun bo hue looks good!


Welcome back!

Is that coagulated beef blood in the soup (1st few photos)?


Hey Kirk! This is a place MS would probably like!!! I may be driving down to SD this weekend... I'll see what we have planned... Can't wait for you to come up to LA!!! Do I finally get to meet the Missus??? Miss ya!!!



Those are some pretty tasty looking bowls of noodles! The appetizers look very delicious too. Now that I'm off my diet, I'm gonna pop on over here this week. I haven't had BBH in months!


Man, you *and* Kathy. I let my guard down for a little bit and everyone starts steppin' up the feeding frenzies. But imma make a comeback. You can bet on it. =)

- Chubbtpanda


Awesome post Kirk!!! I'm actually on the phone with my mom right now, demanding an explaination as to why she's never introduced me to Hen Xuc Banh Trang before, lol :) (my parents are from Vietnam and I thought I had some culinary ground covered...but you're far ahead! :)


Yay for Mien Trung! Now I'm hungry too! I guess I'll have to patiently wait till daylight ... :-)


Man, those pictures look good. Since having our baby, meals out for food have been few and far between. I have been making a list of places to try based on your blog and can't wait to try out. Keep up the great blogging.


haha i went again yesterday.
they dont take credit card only cash =(

Guilty Carnivore

Looks awesome. When I used to live in SD, (not having a car) I would on my day off (or during a "doctor's visit") at times take the trolley east to check out the Vietnamese restaurants.

The Bun Rieu looks amazing! I have never really mustered up enough courage to order Bun Rieu in a restaurant, after seeing the care and time it takes for my mother pull to pull it together growing up - the trust factor has always been an issue. Here in Portland we've had waiters even tell us to avoid it. But this I would try in a heartbeat.

And it seems like Vietnamese food prices have hardly grown since I lived there in the late nineties - they don't seem to index against inflation! Here in Portland Vietnamese prices are 20-50% higher across the board. $7.99 for a bowl of Bun Thit Nuong that's mostly rice noodles and bland nuoc mam - c'mon!


Yum, blood cake! When I was in Oulu, Finland on New Year's Day 2004, I went out with a couple of friends to Sokeri-Jussi Kievari, a restaurant specializing in traditional Finnish food. I ordered the local specialty, which was a soup with bacon, potatoes, and cubes of blood cake! I was in heaven - and I garnered the admiration of my Finnish colleagues, who were worried that I wouldn't like the soup because of the blood cake. Not to worry, I said, as I proceeded to tell them about the old Filipino standbys, dinuguan (blood stew) and pinapaitan (bile soup with tripe)! I wish I had a camera to capture the collective expressions on their faces!


Hi Trent - We asked to exclude the blood, but I think they wasn't a big deal, we just move it to the side.

Hi Clayfu - Your Mein Trung adventures are starting to grow to almost soap opera proportions..."will Clayfu ever get his Bun Bo Hue...stay tumed tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after......" LOL!

Hi Didi - Yes, the broth at Mein Trung is the star.

Hi Andy - The Bun Bo Hue here is very good.

Hi Reynila - It's pork blood cubes, I've found that most Central Vietnamese noodle soups have it.

Hi Kristy - Happy B-Day again! Nice to hear from you, I think MS may like the Bun Bo Hue at Mein Trung.

Hi Howie - Let me know what you think.

Hi CP - Well of course we're just waiting for that leeeetle opening, and WHAM! LOL! Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Hi Kathy - At the time I didn't recall seeing that at other restaurants...but maybe I never paid much attention before, because I've just seen it a two other places!

Hi Mizducky - It's good stuff, ain't it?

Hi Rob - Man, Maya sure is growing! It's just a matter of time, "U-ni Daddy, Suki-yaki Daddy".....

Hi GC - You know, I spoke to someone recently and got about the same statement...they don't ever have Bun Rieu because Mom makes an awesome version...

Hi Ed - Dinuguan, huh? That must've been funny...

Jose Ojeda

How does the Bun bo hue compare with Pho ca dao?? I thought ca dao's was very spicy and salty! But I loved the lemongrass flavor.


Hi Jose - Pho Ca Dao on ECB makes my 3rd or 4th favorite Bun Bo Hue, the Bun Bo Hue at Mien Trung is not as pungent, nor salty. It is much more balanced and has much more depth. I could go on in much more detail, but maybe this post will help:


So Kirk, is one supposed to drink all of the broth in the bowl of bun bo hue, a la the ramen broth in Tampopo?

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