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« Green Noodles, kim chee, teriyaki and, well a fusion-Nozomi | Main | Island Town...inside First Korean Market »

Tuesday, 30 January 2007



Man you hit the spot....the fried sweet so so good and bad for you. The bun rieu did not have blood congee in it, what's up with that? ;-) Were you brave enough to use the shrimp paste or the smell of it was repulsive enough? For some weird reason the stinkier Vietnamese food is the better is taste or maybe its just me. LOL

If you drove a little further down before Westminster next to the 99c store there is a shop there that specialized in that sweet potato thingy and its a big serving if you crave it that much and there is Bodard....endless ;-)

I better stop.


Hi Bill - You know, we love shrimp paste, and like our Bun Rieu, and Bun Bo Hue to have a decent pungency..ask Ed from Yuma!!! So what's the name of the place that specializes in Banh Tom?

wandering chopsticks

I'm glad you liked it Kirk. I think Brodard's banh tom are better only b/c the yam fries are bigger. :) And you're only supposed to get one shrimp per yam fry patty, so that's why you don't see very many of them. I'll be there this weekend so you can check in next week to see pictures of the other stuff you didn't get a chance to try.


Hi WC - That's gonna be painful, in the "I shoulda ordered that", kinda way! Thanks again for your recommendations!


oh man kirk! a vietnamese take on fries...with shrimp, that has my name all over it!!! haven't seen anything like that on the menus in the arcadia/san gabriel area...but I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for it! :)


Only teasing you Kirk...I know you love a big bowel of bun mam. I wouldn't disagree with you I would too. After reading the dish you had again I realized what it was, there are several version but the main reason it has a strong flavor was to hide the gamey-ness of certain animals like lamb, goat, wild boar, and others I would not mention so not to offend anyone here. Pig is the best I think the skin gets a blast from a flame thrower before it is stewed thus not having that mushy texture to it unless it was way over cooked.
My dad makes this dish...


Found the stinky soup post of yours - so yummy my wife loves it -

Miss Vicky

*drools* I'm jealous... I still can't find restaurants in San Diego that can compare with the restaurants in Garden Grove/Little Saigon... *sigh*

Captain Jack

Kirk-That place looks great. Was there much meat on the pigs feet?


That curry stew looks amazing! Let me know if you ever find it in SD!


Mmm, those sweet potato and shrimp patties look awesome! Sorta reminds me of Filipino ukoy, deep-fried patties of shredded green papaya with a solitary shrimp placed in the center.


Kirk--I am SO JEALOUS of you and the Missus. It's past my lunch hour and I am yoso-hungry, especially after looking through your blog!! There are not a whole lot of restaurants like this in Vegas :(


Hey Kirk!

Vien Dong is a great restaurant, and I used to frequent it a lot until its owner (Tony Lam, used to be on the Garden Grove City Council) was lambasted by the Vietnamese community for being a communist regime supporter. Vien Dong used to be located on Westminster Blvd next to the Thanh Son Tofu factory, and after all of the hoopla over his communist ties he had to relocate to the Brookhurst location.
Still, I find the food there to be quite good, especially the bun rieu.
Did you know that the bun gia kay you ate...translates to "fake dog" bun? That's the flavors associated with cooked dog in Vietnam (Kay is the word for dog that you eat in Vietnam, and gia means fake). I had it when I went back to Vietnam. It's not a terrible taste, but I thought you might find that interesting :)



Hi Kathy - It has an addictive flavor to can't eat just one!

Hi Billy - Hey man read the first sentence of your comment....I couldn't stop laughing! You are the man! And yes, nothing like a nice bowl of Bun Mam....another bowl is coming up soon! And based on KK5's comment, I can guess what those "other" animals are...

Hi MissVicky - Check out Thien Thanh...we enjoy the food there.

Hi CJ - There were several large moist-soft chucks of meat-gelatin-fat-skin which were very, very good. Quite a generous amount of meat.

Hi Candice - Several places make Curry Lamb/Goat, but it doesn't taste near as good as this.

Hi Ed - These were good, worth checking out.

Hello Daly! Happy New Year. I hope all is well.....

Hi KK5 - Wandering chopsticks gave me a few clues as to the uproar regarding Tony Lam when she recommended VienDong. After reading your comment, I'm pretty sure that I probably don't want to taste an authentic version of this dish...but man that stew was quite good.


All of the dishes that you pick are the signature dish of that restaurant.
Banh Khoai Tom is best at Quan Ha Noi.
Bun Gia Cay is good here because only northener know how to make this dish.
Bun Rieu is not the best here but it is not far from good because it is difficult to please every one's taste.

Next time try Their Cha Ca Thang Long ( Catfish grilled with Dill ). It is a notherner's dish.

Family style dinner is also recommended.
You did not do too badly with your keen observance about Banh Khoai Tom.


Hi Beach - Thanks for the suggestions......and coming from you, knowing that I "did not do too badly" is high praise! ;o)

wandering chopsticks

Hi Kirk,
I apologize because this should be about the food and not politics. But a commenter brought it up first, and I didn't think it was fair to leave the comment hanging as such.

Tony Lam was a member of the Westminster City Council. He, and all the members of the Westminster City Council, were told by the Westminster City Attorney not to attend the Hi-Tek protests in 1999 b/c of liability issues. The VNese community took that as a "if he isn't with us, he's against us," and picketed his restaurant daily for more than two months. Protesters burned effigies of him and slashed his customers' tires. He ran up $150,000 in legal fees trying to get restraining orders against them, of which the Westminster City Council refused to pay. The stress caused him to undergo quintuple bypass surgery.

I'm not a Tony Lam supporter, but I do think he got unfairly villified by the VNese community when he was stuck in a difficult position and choose to honor his elected position.

And none of these things have any bearing on the quality of food at his restaurant.


I was just curious how do you know that he ran up 150000 legal bill. It is just a question, no agenda behind this question. The quality of food may have gone down a bit because he is no longer own it. Do you know that he also own the Lee's sandwich shop next to Thuan Phat market.

wandering chopsticks

Hi Beach,
The $150,000 is widely reported in the newspapers and is a matter of public record if you want to check on it. He sued the city of Westminster to reimburse his fees since it was the city attorney's advice he followed that resulted in legal fees in the first place. As far as I know of and can remember, the city didn't believe his fees were that high, and that a fundraiser he held that netted $30,000, should have been enough to cover it. And that's not counting all the monies from lost business.

Do you know which tofu business he also owns?


Dong Phuong Tofu

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