My Nguyen is a family-style Vietnamese restaurant in Little Saigon known for homey dishes like fried calamari, caramelized catfish hot pot, and hot-and-sour catfish soup. The best dish there is that caramelized catfish hot pot (ca kho to), says Lau. It's fillets of catfish cooked in an iron pot, in a soy and sugar sauce. "The result is a beautifully tender fish in a salty and sweet sauce that is wonderful. The version here was good and the sauce was addictive as we were literally pouring it all over our rice even after we finished all the meat." It is, says Lau, the second-best version of one of his favorite dishes in all of Little Saigon.
The fried calamari is not the Chinese-style salt-and-pepper squid; it's closer to American-style fried calamari. It's thinly sliced, lightly battered, crispy, and served with fish sauce and spicy soy sauce. Hot-and-sour catfish soup is a little sweet, a little sour, light, and quite refreshing, says Lau. Everything is infused with the flavor of catfish, tamarind, and pineapple. "The broth was complex and very fragrant in the way you can only get when you cook soup correctly," says Lau.
My Nguyen [Little Saigon]
14282 Brookhurst Street #9, Garden Grove