Dave's Top 5 Restaurants of 2012
Sure, they're known for having better nem nướng cuốn than Brodard, and every table in the minuscule restaurant has at least one order, but they also serve some serious broken rice plates, with snappy sausage, tender pork meatloaf, bì that melts on your tongue, and crunchy tofu skin-wrapped shrimp paste. They're looking to expand out of their Little Saigon digs, too, and bring the nem nướng love to the rest of the county. I can't wait.
2. Break of Dawn
|Break of Dawn's head chinito chingón Dee Nguyen|
Every time I hear someone complain that they can't get "normal breakfast food" at Break of Dawn, I cringe, because that's not why you drive to Laguna Hills. No, you drive for the tempura eggs; the shell shatters like sugar when you touch it with your fork, revealing a perfectly set white and a thick, runny yolk. You drive for the braised lamb with 62º egg, so softly cooked that it barely holds together. You drive for the Vietnamese take on smoked salmon, with green herb sauce atop savory oatmeal cakes. Denver omelet? That's what Woody's next door is for.
195 E. City Pl Drive, Santa Ana, CA