Ten Great Vietnamese Restaurants in Orange County

halongbay3.jpg
Flickr user dgmckelvey
Pity the other publications in the stable o' stallions that is Village Voice Media, because they have to come up with a list like this, too--and they don't have Little Saigon sitting smack dab in the middle of their publication area. How do we choose from the hundreds--yes, multiple hundreds--of Vietnamese restaurants in Orange County? We could write one of these top-ten lists just based on banh mi. We already pretty much did write one about pho. We could even critique the top ten bowls of bun bo Hue, the top ten seven courses of beef, or the top ten nem nuong cuon in the county... so instead, here's a representative sampling, and make sure you add your favorites in the comments section!

HONORABLE MENTION: Break of Dawn
The Pioneer of South County

breakofdawnsausage.jpg
Gustavo Arellano
Why just an honorable mention? Because Break of Dawn isn't really a Vietnamese restaurant; it's a great restaurant run by a Vietnamese chef, with Vietnamese flavors welded expertly with French, Mexican, Hawaiian, etc. It deserves a spot on this list if for no other reason than the papaya salad spiked with Vietnamese herbs that accompanies Portuguese sausage and fried rice--but mostly because it's awesome.

24351 Avenida de la Carlota, Laguna Hills; 949-587-9418; breakofdawnrestaurant.com.

10. Thach Che Hien Khanh
You Put De Spoon In De Coconut

Vietnamese Sweet Rice.jpg
Javier Cabral / OC Weekly
While you might get a small cup of che ba mau--three-bean coconut pudding, where "pudding" is a generous term for the liquid texture of the most popular Vietnamese dessert--in any Vietnamese restaurant, at Hien Khanh they specialize in dozens of varieties of che, from bananas to sweet potatoes to rice balls to jelly squiggles, all doused in sweet coconut cream. If you've overdone it on the chile sauces in the condiment tray at dinner, head for Hien Khanh to cool the fire for shockingly low prices.

9639 Bolsa Ave., Westminster; 714-839-8143.
9784 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove; 714-537-5105; no website.


9. Com Tam Tran Quy Cap
Mountains of Toppings

com_tam_plate (Medium).jpg
Edwin Goei
Devotees of the huge platters of broken rice know to head to this standby for soft egg-and-pork pie called cha, snappy bits of sweet sausage, squares of shrimp paste fried inside crunchy tofu skin, boiled pork tossed with toasted rice powder, and grilled meats of every description, all set over a fragrant pile of rice with the texture of couscous. Add your vegetables, some chiles, and a bowl of soup, and you've got lunch for two days.

16175 Harbor Blvd., Fountain Valley; 714-418-1333.
10522 McFadden Ave., Garden Grove; 714-839-3069; no website.


8. Quan Hy
The Zen Oasis of Central Vietnam

quanhy1.jpg
Dave Lieberman
Walk over the indoor stream at Quan Hy and you'll see this is no hole in the wall; it's meant to evoke a feeling of Zen broken only by servers whisking food to tables... and that food! While it's best known for its sticky rice dishes, the best things on the menu are actually the salads, especially the jackfruit salad spiked with tart shredded banana flowers and pungent herbs.

9727 Bolsa Ave., Westminster; 714-775-7179; no website.

My Voice Nation Help
4 comments
B Le
B Le

Not mentioned but Hue Oi in Garden Grove is one of the places my family always go to regularly and the family is pretty sweet.

csak
csak

Pholicious in Fountain Valley has the best pork dish in town. Not a fan of the #1 pick, went there and everything was VERY mediocre and service was horrible 

Carrion Fairy
Carrion Fairy

Was at Vien Dong just last week for the bun cha Hanoi... unbelievably tasty.

adamclyde
adamclyde

nothing beats the cha gio at vien dong.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...