Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vietnam Restaurant

I fell asleep last night thinking of recipes and restaurants I want to try and when I woke up this morning, I picked up where I left off by immediately wanting to try a new Vietnamese restaurant somewhere on the "authentic" side of town (i.e. San Gabriel Valley-dom). With the sheer number of Vietnamese restaurants in greater LA, I find it too overwhelming to just waltz in here and there and have my own string of trial-and-error visits. Thank God for the internet and food bloggers! I read about Vietnam Restaurant over at Wandering Chopsticks and thought it'd be a splendid way to start off my Saturday. I drove over to San Gabriel for a late breakfast and ordered the following:

Rice cakes with crushed dried shrimp and coconut milk

I felt like venturing outside my usual standard dishes and trying something wonderfully new. The rice cakes themselves were nice, but this dish was neither good nor bad to me (the coconut milk was served in a separate dish and I hadn't poured any on it when I took the picture). I didn't figure that "crushed" dried shrimp would be such a fine powder! I thought it'd be a tangle of dried shrimp bits, but I rather like the look of the bright orangey powder. I ate about half of this dish, but would not order again just because it didn't knock my socks off. Anyone have any ideas on what the yellow crumbles are? The flavor was hard to pinpoint, they tasted kind of like rice powder or masa dough.

Shrimp paste, charbroiled pork and egg roll rice plate

I love a good rice plate and this one did not disappoint, especially the shrimp paste (my first ever!), which is more like a mashed shrimp cake (if that helps you understand the concept any better). Slight downside: I like Vietnamese eggrolls a lot and Vietnam Restaurant's version is tasty, but the skins were a bit too chewy for me and stuck a little in my teeth. Not sure if they fried these to order, but for $6 a plate, I'm not complaining too much.

And yay for caffeine, a coffee with condensed milk

It's been years since I've ordered one of these coffees and I have unknowingly missed them dearly! I think these will have to be a must from now on.

Off to see Rachel Getting Married! Happy weekend, everyone!

Vietnam Restaurant
340 W. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA 91776

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