Friday, February 8, 2008

Vien Dong Restaurant

Priscilla had heard that the Vietnamese food in a neighborhood close to Long Beach was really good, so we made a trip out there to find something to eat.

We randomly settled on a place called Vien Dong.

I guess I never had non-noodle Vietnamese food before. I'm used to just getting Pho. I thought it was great. It was exactly like ssam. The egg rolls were the stars of this meal. They were really crispy. Priscilla found the shrimp on sugarcane disappointing (they used processed shrimp rather than whole shrimp) and thought the pork meatballs had no flavor. But I liked the pork meatballs fine with the peanut and fish sauce. I realized that that fish sauce is essentially what Momofuku Ssam Bar puts into their Brussels Sprouts.

And of course, we got coffee with condensed milk in that single cup filter thing.

Vien Dong Restaurant
14271 Brookhurst St
Garden Grove, CA 92843
(714) 531-8253


Momneedsanap said...

Next time you're in Long Beach, CA, try some great Korean food in Garden Grove, CA. Garden Grove is also home to a Korea town. There's this restaurant called "Kaju Tofu Restaurant". It's a tiny hole-in-the-wall place, but their soft tofu stews and side dishes are amazing. It's better than any soft tofu restaurants in Los Angeles.

Kaju Tofu Restaurant
8895 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844
(714) 636-2849

There's also this fantastic Korean barbeque place in Cerritos, CA, which is just 15 minutes North of Long Beach, CA. It's called "The Corner Place". This is their second location, first being in Los Angeles one hour away.

Their Kalbi (thick slice rib-eye steak) is better than their Bulgogi (thinly sliced rib-eye steak). But, the main attraction is their summer-kimchi-cold-white-noodle-soup.

The story goes.... the grandmother of the Los Angeles location makes the soup base every morning, then they put this soup base into large trash can containers and someone drives it to their second location. No one knows this secret recipe but the grandmother. It's so secret that everything on the menu can be ordered as a take-out, EXCEPT for this cold noodle soup. Even the waitresses don't know what's in it.

Other Korean restaurants in Los Angeles have been trying to duplicate this recipe, but no one has done it successfully since The Corner Place opened some 30 years ago. Actually there's two other Korean restaurants in Los Angeles that have this noodle soup on their menu, but it's not the same. This summer-kimchi-cold-white-noodle-soup is called "Dong Chi Mi Gook Soo". It's fabulous.

My husband and I get one order of Kalbi and one order of Dong Chi Mi Gook Soo and split it. Their portions are large and there's always 14 different side dishes to go with your meal. We prefer The Corner Place in Cerritos slightly better since it's less crowded and parking is better than their Los Angeles branch.

The Corner Place - Los Angeles
2819 James M Wood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 487-0968

The Corner Place - Cerritos
19100 S. Gridley Road
Cerritos, CA 90703
(562) 402-8578

David said...

Thanks for the recommendations! There are so many Korean places in that region that it's difficult to pick which ones to go to.

Soon Doo Boo is one of my favorite things to eat, so I'll definitely think of Kaju if I get a craving the next time I'm in the area.

I don't think I've ever heard of Dong Chi Mi Gook Soo. I am intrigued.

Momneedsanap said...

My husband took James to "Kaju Tofu" last year. James really liked it.

We haven't taken Christine & James to have "Dong Chi Mi Gook Soo" at The Corner Place yet since this restaurant is located a little over an hour East of our homes.

My mother, who was a cooking teacher in Korea, thinks that there isn't any Dong Chi Mi Kimchi stock in this dish. She thinks the stock is made by combining two summer kimchi stocks: white cabbage kimchi and large Asian radish kimchi.

She came very close to duplicating the dish at home, but couldn't get it exactly the same. I guess that's why no one in LA or Orange County have been able to duplicate this dish.