Most little saigon denizins will know Thien An from their location at Harbor and Trask. They now have a second location in Bolsa (and Ward I think? Same plaza as Song Long Bakery). It used to be a supermarket, and then went became a defunct thai restaurant, and now is Thien An. Based on yesterday's crowd, looks like they're here to stay.
I would say it's pretty typical Vietnamese - cheap great food, at the expense of an overcrowded restaurant with overworked staff. Don't get me wrong, the staff are pretty nice and they didn't mess up our order, but things like "timing of courses" and "wiping down tables" don't really exist here.
Efficiency of Staff: 7/10
Overall Service: 6/10
We came by and asked for a table. They weren't taking down names on the list at that time, but instead opted to "find us a table". Note that the hostess(es) were also waitresses and also bussers. This left them slightly uh confused as to who got priority with what table. Anyway, we were seated within 10 minutes; but I would advise you to go with a native speaking individual if you're trying to eat at primetime..
We opted not to have the Bo 7 Mon due to my girlfriend's peanut allergies: we would've had to forgone 3 courses out of 7. We ended up ordering ala cart:
Bo vui Tom Nuong Vi - beef and shrimp on griddle
Goi Tom - shrimp salad type thing
Ca Nuong - Baked catfish
Chao Bo - beef porridge
Beef and Shrimp on Griddle - Good as always. Well marinated, lots of lemongrass, very tasty
Goi Tom - easily one of the best in little saigon. Perfect texture, perfect amount of fish sauce, just absolutely perfect, especially with the fried shrimp cracker thing
Ca Nuong - We usually go to Favori for this dish. In fact, we were at Favori first but decided we didn't want to wait. The Ca Nuong here was just as good as Favori's version. Perfectly good, crispy outside, tender inside. A little oily at the end, but that's par for the course.
Chao Bo - a good finish to the meal. Not a typical porridge, as it's more of a soup with rice and beef instead.
Best part? Only 20 bucks pp after tax and tip.
I'd recommend it to anybody during non-peak times, I would advise you to go with a vietnamese person during peak times.
I would've loved to have the 2 other beef dishes, bo la lot (beef with some type of leaf wrapper) and another beef ball dish, but alas they contained peanuts. I know those dishes would've been awesome.
Overall score: 8/10
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