While in town for a wedding, wew went looking for Vietnamese food stalwart Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa and got some help and friendly advice from kind strangers on public transit. “My bus mates pointed out that the numbers of the buildings change from town to town, so I showed them what I copied from the Hounders,” wew says. “Three of them got together and suggested better places with just about the same name. I felt a bit like someone in New York asking for Ray’s Pizza. After eating I felt like I went not to any of the Ray’s but to Di Fara’s.”
The meal itself was an adventure. wew ordered the roll-your-own pork, with its “small forest of fantastic greens,” and “started to make my first roll when a friendly older gent approached my table, apologized for interrupting me but felt I would enjoy my meal more if I removed the plastic steamer liners I was rolling into my food. Probably right.”
“After the second roll I realized I live 3,000 miles in the wrong direction and a certain dejection took the edge off my high high food high,” says wew. “Truly worthy of a detour even if you were going from Juno to Detroit.”
“I think it’s the best nem nuong cuon [pork spring rolls] in Little Saigon, bar none,” says Professor Salt. “It really is the Di Fara’s of nem nuong.” Yet, sadly, the place sits empty all the time. Maybe, theorizes Professor Salt, people are in a hurry and don’t want things cooked to order. Still, it’s such a standout that he hopes the restaurant gets enough business soon to stay in the game a long, long time.
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa [Little Saigon]
9738 Westminster Avenue, Garden Grove