Mint & Basil
1741 N. Milpitas Blvd.
Milpitas, CA 95035
A couple of weeks ago, Irene at TJ’s Tacos LA brought our attention to a taco pop-up event (2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month) being held at a local bar. The name may not say much, but the headline, Vietnamese-style tacos, sure caught our attention. The word Vietnamese immediately piqued our interest, because of our shared love of Southeast Asian flavors. Viet tacos, say what?
Nha Trang is a Vietnamese restaurant embedded deep inside a narrow strip mall on Valley Blvd., a stone’s throw away from my childhood home in San Gabriel. Nha Trang gets name from a seaside city in South Vietnam, but it’s really just known for 2 kinds of noodle soup: bun bo Hue (originates in central Vietnam) and bun rieu. The place itself is small and cramped. Parking can be difficult. Nonetheless, people are always willing to wait because their noodles are good.
For the curious, I baked lesser known Teochew/Hokkien durian-flavored mooncakes, paired with a fresh brew of Ten Ren’s oolong tea (東方美人茶, labeled ‘Oriental Beauty tea’ in English). Unfortunately the cakes were a bit underbaked because the oven refused to cooperate with me…
In any case, enjoy the beautiful moon in its full glory before it begins waning again~
Cơm tấm, or ‘broken rice’, is literally made out of broken rice grains, served with a variety of Vietnamese entrees.
At Com Tam Thuan Kieu, very popular among Vietnamese folks in the San Gabriel area, you can choose your sides. My sister and I opted for grilled pork and 7 sides (a fried egg roll, steamed egg, shrimp cakes, pickled vegetables), for only $7.99.
The dish came with 2 bowls of meaty soup and was enough to feed the both of us.
Com Tam Thuan Kieu
120 E Valley Blvd Ste I & J
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Vung Tau II Vietnamese Restaurant
I had lunch here last week and it’s one of those restaurants my family has been going to for ages. The food is amazing and they get really busy during the weekends, so going for lunch on a weekday is a good idea. I ordered tomato rice with korean ribs and my friends each got a different rice plate instead of ordering family style, which they have too. This was really good, the korean ribs almost compares to my mom’s and it wasn’t too fatty even though I had to take some of the fat out. The rice was perfect, I’ve never had good tomato rice and I was skeptical about it but it wasn’t dry and had enough flavor that went really well with the korean ribs. The side of kimchi wasn’t really kimchi but more like pickled cabbage and it wasn’t that great. Overall I loved the ribs and I could only finish half the plate. I think it costed around $8 but I could be wrong. Good place for some Vietnamese food (even though mine was obviously not Viet).
Restaurant Review: Nem Nuong in Rosemead
Two of my friends from back home took me to this little, Vietnamese restaurant near Rosemead High School. Let me tell you, I’ve lived here for a really long time, and I honestly never noticed this place until they pointed it out.
I had the boys order for me, since they were the ones who were craving food. They ordered this thing called Banh Beo, which came with individual amounts in small plates. It was really good! It was my first time eating it, and I’ve never seen or heard of it before. Great choice guys! I definitely liked the texture of the dish and also the sauce that goes with it. It’s cute, and fun to eat!
We also ordered shrimp and pork spring rolls, which were really great! They had a nice crunch to it, and also they were rather filling. I loved the sauce that went with the spring rolls. This orange sauce is something I’ve never tried before, so i was surprised to find it was a great combination.
The prices for the spring rolls were around 6-7 dollars, which I think is a bit much just for spring rolls. (But I could be spoiled because of Nicole)
I give this place a rating of 4/5