The problem with being a Mỹ trắng and wanting to eat well in Little Saigon is that restaurants tend to dumb down their English names: the English sign will say "Vietnamese Restaurant", but their specialities are nearly always stenciled in Vietnamese on the front window. If you can learn a few words such as cá (fish), bò (beef), gà (chicken) and dê (goat), the names of the noodles, like phở, bún, mì and hủ tiếu, and a few words for preparation like nướng (grilled), chiên (fried) and canh (soup) you're halfway there.
Quan Hen, perched at the end of an L-shaped, two-story plaza at Magnolia and Westminster that also contains the very well-known Ngu Binh, says it's a Vietnamese restaurant. It's not a phở shop, though; It is not a bún bò Huế shop. It sells these items, but the dishes listed on the front window are cá nướng da dòn (baked catfish with crispy skin), lẩu mắm (anchovy hot pot), and lẩu dê (goat hot pot).More »