It is not every day you get to eat Vietnamese at a sit down, and it’s not pho. Usually its spring rolls or a bahn mi sandwich to go, or a nice big hot bowl of pho at a hole in the wall. Brodard in Garden Grove has some of the best Vietnamese food around, especially the rolls. They even have some french pastries as well. I wasn’t a real fan of Vietnamese food, until I gave it a chance. Coming here though was a challenge. Their main entrance is actually in the back. You will get lost, like I did, if you assume the entrance is in the front. I don’t even think they have an entrance in the front. Even if they did, the sign wouldn’t read “Brodard Restaurant”. It was all in Vietnamese — or maybe that was an entrance to something else. Either, way, the entrance is difficult to find, and it is in the back. Once you find this place though, you will be glad that you did.
We ordered the Cha Gio (egg rolls). The crispy rolls willed with pork, shrimp, crab meat, clear vermicelli and vegetables. It was served with and array of Asian greens and lime chili fish sauce. I wrapped the egg rolls in the Asian lettuce, put some mint and cilantro inside, and dipped it in the sweet and sour sauce. To say the least, my taste buds were having a party. Every flavor was present, and the cilantro and mint leaves gave it that depth. Texturally, it was a treat as well. This was an all in one flavor packed appetizer that is a must order.
The Nem Nuong Cuon (pork spring roll) is what they are known for. The grilled pork paste was wrapped in rice paper with lettuce, cucumber, carrot, daikon, and mint. It was served with house special sauce. In my opinion, the sauce made this dish shine. The spring rolls in itself were tasty, but the sauce is what makes this dish. The house special sauce was some sort of shrimp paste sauce. It went very well with the rolls.
As a hot dish, we ordered the Bo Luc Lac (Shaken beef) The dish had filet minon chunks, mixed with onions, mushrooms, scallion and spices. It was served with tomato rice with a salad. The filet minion was very soft and tender — not an ounce of chewiness. The vegetables were fine and the rice was alright. I didn’t really like the sauce it was in as much. It kind of tasted like bean paste, but milder in flavor. It would have been nice to have more meat, but we all know how pricey filet minon is.
At the end, we ordered our Vietnamese coffee and it completed the meal. Not as good as Lee’s, but still very good. I realized how much flavor Vietnamese food has. It was fun to see the spring roll making station as workers almost endlessly rolled each one. It’s no wonder that they need so many people making these things, everyone orders them. If you are in the area, and want some Vietnamese food, Brodard is all you need. There is a Brodard Chateu down the street. I don’t know if it is related or not, but this one is the real deal.