A few weeks ago I had another reason to trek down to Orange County and decided to stop by Garden Grove to taste some more of the best Vietnamese food Ive ever had at Quan Hy. Last time I tried their delicious sticky rice dumplings and couldnt get its sweet, savory, spicy flavor and wonderfully sticky, chewy texture out of my mind.
When I pulled up to the familiar mini mall on Westminster, I was in shock to find that another restaurant had taken over. Why would they close down Quan Hy? Last time I was there, it was pretty busy during lunch? I wonder what happened.
After a few moments, I gathered myself together and decided to try Brodard, another Vietnamese restaurant I wanted to try.
I had read that it was tricky to find, located behind a mini mall by the 99 Cents store. When I pulled up to the location, again, I was disappointed to arrive to the remnants of a closed restaurant. The sign said that it was open for lunch, but it looked like it had been abandoned many months ago. Strike Two.
By this time, I was hungry and didnt really know where else to go, so I simply parked my car in the front of the mini mall and wandered into the first restaurant I found. I found a nice corner table and ordered the first picture I saw, which was the house special catfish noodle soup. I dont even like catfish, but I wanted to try something Ive never had before, but nothing too unusual because I really did want to eat.
Fortunately, for me, it was absolutely delicious. The broth was beautifully flavored with lemongrass and galangal, but not overly so. The herb plate was filled with stringy green stems that tasted of cilantro, which was great. And, best of all, the catfish did not have an overwhelming taste of dirt, which is the reason why I dont really like catfish. Instead it was soft and buttery and I didnt mind too much that the bones were left in.
After a completely satisfying lunch for which I paid less than $7, I drove back to LA with a new sense of satisfaction that I found good grub despite my two failed attempts.
Binh Minh Restaurant
9908 Westminster Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92844