Dine-Out

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.

Brodard on Urbanspoon

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Everything about Vegas is over the top.  One of the most over the top breakfasts can be had at Hash House a Go Go.  They are known for their crazy concoctions of burgers stacked high, pancakes larger than pizzas, and breakfast plates big enough for three, four maybe. I have been to the one in San Diego, and the long wait was rewarded with plates of impossible to finish food.  Delicious at that.  Going to Vegas, knowing there was a Hash House off the strip and on the strip, my breakfast was set.

We ordered the iced pistachio mocha to start things off.  It was milky and ice cold.  The pistachio taste was subtle, but there.  It was similar to the Nutella shake at Burger Bar. The chocolate was a nice background flavor.  Imagine chocolate hazelnut (nutella) but then replace the hazelnut with pistachio. It worked!  Tasty!

The craziest dish I have ever seen was the sausage gravy pot pie.  It had scrambled egg and mashed potatoes which was normal.  This was I guess their version of sausage and biscuits, but mutated to a giant monster.  The bottom was a bowl formed by an upside down hat made of a biscuit type bread.  Inside the bowl was massive amounts of mashed potatoes which kind of sucked. There was even a bunch underneath the makeshift bowl.    I was looking for more sausage pieces, though there were some.  After a few bites of this dish, it was a bit tiring.  I don’t see how anyone can finish this dish.  Carb overload is an understatement.

My chorizo hash was sensible, but still came in a skillet.  It had jalapeno, red onion, cheddar cheese, and fresh tomatoes.  The kick from the jalapeno was a wake up call, especially compared to the monotone of the pot pie.  Chorizo is spicy as well, so this dish had a lot of flavor. The eggs were perfectly cooked over easy.  Though there was nothing special about this one, it at least kept me interested.

Hash House a Go Go is a place to go eat.  They make sure you are full, and you leave with a doggy bag every time. This is the opposite of tapas small plates.  You get one big plate, and a lot of it.  The food isn’t boring for sure.  They try to keep it interesting with interesting combinations and portions that are too big to make sense. I guess that is the fun of it all.  Vegas is all about buffets, but with Hash House, you will get enough — don’t worry.

Hash House a Go Go on Urbanspoon

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What is a theme park without cotton candy, popcorn, and corn dogs?  Well, without it, you don’t have yourself a theme park.  Corn dogs is on a stick, and is easy to eat on the go.  It is no wonder that there is almost always a line for the Corn Dog Cart at Disneyland. Good to know that this American classic snack can be had at America’s favorite theme park.  But is it my favorite corn dog?  It’s hard to say.  As for as classic corn dogs go, they are one of the best.

Waiting in anticipation, I was never this excited about a corn dog, ever.  It might have been the Disney magic people keep talking about.  The cart is a small wagon type food stand towards the end of Main St.  The corn dog was deformed looking — this was interestingly a plus for me. I never understood how corn dogs have that perfectly balled tip.  The batter was light and crispy, a bit greasy, but delicious.  Most importantly, the batter stuck to the hot dog.

It was a bit pricey, as all things are at Disneyland.  The corn dog was nicely sized though, and you can get chips or fruit as a side.  If you are ever at Disneyland and need a bite on the run, get your corn dog on.

Disneyland Corndog Cart on Urbanspoon

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This is where it all started. Beverly and Rampart — this was the birthplace of the the Original Tommy’s hamburger. Tom Koulax founded Tommy’s in 1946, and the rest is history. Their menu hasn’t changed much. Chili burgers, being their signature item, is what I always get. Can’t mess with a classic. There are a bunch of Original Tommy’s in LA and OC — a few in NV. Future plans include AZ, but this one was the first.

I remember when I was a kid, my uncle would take me here all the time. Having been pretty big for my age, I prided in the fact that I could finish a whole chili cheese burger by myself. Albeit, half of it spilled on my shirt and face, it was surely a feat. That taste, even until this day reminds me of that little boy. All because of that messy chili. At this location, you can order from the original stand on the corner, or the expantion right next to it. The special thing about their burgers, is that there is nothng special special that they do to it. They are just pure ingredients at their freshest. Of course, the chili is what they are known for. It is velvety smooth and delicious.

Tommy’s is chili cheese burgers — the first thing when I think of a chili cheese burger.  I’m proud to be an Angelino, and I’m happy to have Tommy’s.

Tommy's Original World Famous Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

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Thai Patio – Night Time Chow At Thai Town

by Franklin on December 13, 2011

Where else can you get authentic Thai cuisine other than in Thai Town.  Located near Hollywood, Thai Town in Los Angeles offers some great food.  Thai Patio had some really well prepared Thai food.  Something about the spices in Thai food keeps me wanting more.  This restaurant does it perfectly.  The live music and open dining area is very inviting.  Those in seek of a hip night life and good Thai food can appreciate this place.

We ordered the crab fried rice.  I am absolutely in love with crab fried rice, especially this one restuarant near CSUF. Thai Patio’s, though good wasn’t as good as the one in Fullerton.   It wasn’t seafood like enough for me.

Though the crab fried rice was just normal, the grilled beef was amazing.  The taste was like no other.  It was a bit sweet and so very tender.  At first, I thought it would be on the tough side.  However they prepared it, it was a perfect texture. I liked the bbq marks that was on the beef.  It gave it a nice char flavor.  and whatever spices they use on these, it was delicious.

Their chicken Pad see Ew was by far my favorite.  It is quite possible that they have the best.  The noodles were thick and chewy — al dente. It wasn’t mushy at all.  The sauce and fresh vegetables brought the whole dish together.  Definately, the texture of the noodles is what makes this dish.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d think they made their noodles in house from scratch.

Thai Patio was authentic.  Maybe it was all in the name, or the fact that it was in Thai Town.  All of the food in Koreatown isn’t always good, so it can’t be the location.  It must be the food.  Everything was delicious, and they give you a lot of it. Asking for to go boxes is a must after your meal, because you will have left overs.  Next time, I would like to try more of the exotic (heavily spiced) dishes.

Thai Patio on Urbanspoon

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