To raise money for the earthquake relief efforts in Japan, Wandering Chopsticks led a North to South Vietnamese tour in Little Saigon. I joined her and her readers who had each donated $50 to specific charities for the first parts of the tour. We started at Vien Dong in Garden Grove for Northern Vietnamese food.
While waiting for WC's other readers to arrive, we ordered some Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring/Egg Rolls). The cha gio here is made with rice paper, which is both crispy yet maintains some chewiness when fried. This is the traditional wrapper used in Vietnam.
Being a long and late day, I had to get some Ca Phe Sua Da. They brought it out in a mini coffee press laying on top of a cup of condensed milk. It wasn't until then that I realize just how much condensed milk is in this drink! No wonder it's so tasty...
We shared an order of Banh Tom which are Vietnamese Shrimp and Yam Fritters with a turmeric batter.
Most of the dishes we tried here were new to me, and among my favorites was the Cha Ca Thang Long (Vietnamese Hanoi-Style Turmeric Fish with Dill)
She also showed us how to eat the fish with this crispy rice paper covered in sesame seeds.
We tried quite a few noodle soups, and Vien Dong has quite an interesting selection including
Bun Bung (Vietnamese spare ribs noodle soup with plantains, tofu, and taro stem).
If you're adventurous, do try the Bun Oc (Vietnamese Snail Noodle Soup). The chewy sea snails are great with the tomato-based broth.
14271 Brookhurst St
Garden Grove, CA 92843