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« Hong Kong BBQ & Dim Sum - A quick Dim Sum Survey | Main | 15th Annual City Heights International Village Celebration »

Thursday, 31 May 2007



well said....


That's so cool that your blog post and the user comments made a restaurant owner really think critically about his own place!

The letter was very well-written and was his manner seemed very humble and sincere. I think... that I'm looking forward to reading your part 2 and see how much of an improvement there really is :)


Amazing, just goes to show the influence blogs like yours has. Looking forward to part 2.


Wow, I haven't been there since we moved from Mission Hills to Mira Mesa, but now I'm curious. I wonder what caused the pungency? :)


Another WOW! Keep it up Mr. K.


I was just in Vien Dong last weekend and noticed the improvement myself. The main improvement I saw were the seafood tanks. They expanded it quite a bit (there were like 3 or 4 tanks in the aisle with dungenous crab and a few tanks with clam). You still have to get your own crab but it's easier than the old tank (plus you can make sure the crab you get is actually alive). They also had a tray of crawfish. The cooler with the live frogs is kinda creepy. I usually don't like my food looking back at me like that! The pungency is still there but probably not as bad (it's been a while since I've been there though). Pungency in Asian markets is to be expected. The hot food is definitely back and looked good. It's good that the owner chimed in becuase the improvements are noticable. Kudos Kirk and Daniel!


Yeah!!! the hot food is back. I have to go check it out. I have never had a bad experience buying seafood, pork, or chicken parts there. I remember way back when when they sold fried lobster in the deli. Just to date myself, this was back when they had the armed security guard on a lifeguard stand in the parking lot.


Holy moly...that completely puts my faith back into the customer service industry/sector. (cough, cough, Macys) I commend Mr. Tran for reaching out to his target community respectfully and for recognizing the influence that the everyman has. Good job Kirk! =)


I'm not surprised, Kirk! You're like The Godfather of SD food bloggers :-)

Still, it's great to see someone responding in such a positive way and trying to improve things.

Wandering Chopsticks

Wow, Kirk. Your blog is really a lot more influential than you think. :)


At the risk of sounding all warm and fuzzy, I would take the opinions on mmm-yoso over food reviews from professional food critics. I like to hear whether a restaurant was good or bad, whether the service was good or bad, and whether or not you'd go back, because that's the way I evaluate restaurants in my own head. Plus, I clicked on the link to Namoi and found myself missing all the nice pictures that you put up of food.

In fact, I've infected my friends with reading mmm-yoso, and I've gone to check out restaurants specifically because they were mentioned here! When I try to persuade my friends to join me in checking out a restaurant, all I do is link them to the mmm-yoso entry on that restaurant, and it usually works.


I go to this market all the time for meat and veggies, 99 ranch is just too far away. Also their quality of fruit is significantly better than 99 ranch.

Sigh, why must the soft fruits be so crappy at 99?


Ditto clayfu's comment. This is the only place I buy shallots, and the best for most live herbs, basic citrus, and reasonably priced "exotic" fruits.
Their fishmongers consistently clean and dress fish and drain excess water/ice rather than over-charge. And this despite my not speaking their language.
They're also the only place I've found live shrimp and crawfish, (although Crawfish Hut on Convoy opened today!).

Christine D.

Wow, I'm impressed with the customer service. Kudos to both you and Daniel! If he's been reading your blog for a year, I'm surprised that he hasn't figured out that you're a Sir. Wait, you ARE a Sir, right? ;D


Outstanding job Mr. Tran! Boy do I wish I could go through your establishment and check things out! Kirk, you sell yourself a tad short my good man. You are an expert eater! Not only that, you enjoy it and that makes you even better. I'm looking forward to Part II.

Passionate Eater

I disagree with you Kirk--you are a great writer, and you communicate your experiences with restaurants and with cooking in a wonderful way. I agree with Wandering Chopsticks--now you know that your blog is read and respected by many. I used to go to the Viet Dong Supermarket in El Monte when I lived in Southern California, and am heartened by their email--it means they took the time to respond and want to continually improve!


Hi RONW - Dan wrote a wonderful letter, didn't he?

Hi Chizzed - I was very suprised to receive his email.....

Hi Mina - Part 2 is coming up within the next few weeks.

Hi Jan - It's a ratio of seafood and meat to air purification. And yet, I've been to seafood markets where you smell the brine of the ocean, not decomposition.

Hi Billy - Actually, it's "way to go Mr D!"

Hi Denver - You know my visit was interesting....there was the usual "pungency" when I entered, but as I wlked to the seafood department it kind of faded. So either it was so mild, that I got used to it...or something else is going on. And yes, you expect some, but not an overwhelming smell, and it's not just Asian Markets. And to be honest, all kudos should go to Daniel!

Hi Wingfoot - The hot food deli was one of my favorite things....pretty good, and inexpensive.

Hi Penny - Stuff like this really gives you hope......

Hi Howie - Thanks, but I really need to give Daniel all the credit, after all, if you think about it, He basically wrote this post! ;O)

Hi WC - Well, I don't think there are too many posts on Vien it was probably just luck.

Hi Fred - Well sheesh, I dunno what to say.....thanks so much.

Hi Clayfu - Yeah, I don't know what it is with 99 Ranch...we usually end up going to Zion Market, or the Fruit Stand on Morena. There also used to be a Fruit Stand on Linda Vista by the 7/11, that sometimes had pretty good stuff...but was very inconsistent.

Hi Trent - Funny, but until this email, I had been shopping at Lucky Seafood and World Foods alot...

Hi Christine - Last time I checked, LOL! But of course Cathy has been doing many posts as well, so maybe Daniel wasn't sure who the email was going too.

Hi Jo - I think I've spent much too much time eating recently...... ;o)

Hi PE - Pretty amazing stuff, huh? These days just trying to get someone on the phone is nearly impossible...this was done freely! Thanks so much for always being so positive and complimentary!

steamy kitchen

Hey, can you fly over here to Florida? There is this asian supermarket here that really needs a good facelift, their toilet never works and I'd love if they would sell live fish.....


That's pretty awesome. I feel a little sorry for the poor froggies, though.

Joseph E

Thanks for the update, Kirk. I had noticed those pleasing changes at Vien Dong III myself, but not all of the tanks were in last time I visited. I've been going to a different Vien Dong ("World Market") on El Cajon; perhaps it's time to make the trip north.

After your crawdad festival post, those live crayfish sound delicious. And I've always loved their vegetables.

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