I went back to Kim Loan in Fullerton this past Sunday. It has been a while for me since I moved out of the area. I think this may be the first time I've been back since they reopened after the fire.
We ordered our usual suspects. Pho Tai, Combination Crispy Chowmein, Rice with BBQ Pork, and the Fried Salted Shrimp. The Pho was okay - not great, and as I have noted before, sweeter than most phos out there. I shared it with my family - so I had just enough to whet my appetite for the other dishes. The Chowmein was good and crispy, the sauce was nice and simple, with carrots, bok choy, squid, shrimp, beef, and broccoli. It's what I call comfort food. Haute cuisine it is not. The Rice with BBQ Pork was as good as always. Nice light char on the thin slices of pork. Sweet and smoky flavor, a nice complement to the rice and raw veggies they put on the side.
However, the standout in my opinion was the Fried Salted Shrimp which we ordered with the shell still on. I think this is important; you have to specify "WITH SHELL", or else it seems they give you smaller shrimp with the shell removed, which isn't as good and can be very greasy. Our order of the shrimp came out hot with a saucer of lemon juice for dipping. The fat shrimp had a nice light batter which wasn't too salty, and was studded with pieces of crisp fried garlic strewn throughout. Loved it!
The whole dinner was about $24 with tip.