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Lil' Saigon: Chez Rose bad; Uyen Thy Quan|Top Baguette good

davidt | May 19, 200408:03 PM

1. Top Baguette: really good. They were really nice, made the egg and vegetarian sandwich (bahn mi) fresh while I waited. (egg was still warm). Bread was crunchy and all of the produce is right there for you to see in clean and organized stainless steel containers. Also had a shrimp spring roll that was good. He told me that they would make a vegetarian spring roll for me if I wanted. It’s right after magnolia on the right while going east on Bolsa. Also, their iced milk coffee is sweeter than most and had a cool mouth feel; almost silky/syrupy.

2. UYEN THY QUAN Very clean even the condiment containers looked dusted (if you eat a lot in little Saigon you know what I mean). The service was seldom, but polite. I had an okay milk coffee (kinda weak); the spring rolls were just normally good, the lemon grass chicken was really good, so was the sautéed beef vermicelli. I experimented and tried the shrimp paste wrapped around sugar cane. Good idea and it looked great. It came with a big plate of fresh produce, vermicelli, and rice paper. But you can’t really bite through the sugar cane or get much flavor from it, and the shrimp paste isn’t really that flavorful or spicy. I’d rather have fried spam around sugar cane. It’s open till 3am and I’ll be back to try more. I got a look in the kitchen, very clean and organized with lots of fresh veggies stacked all around. It’s between Magnolia and Brookhurst on the south side of Bolsa in a small building right on the street.

3. Chez Rose: my biggest complaint about a few Asian restaurants in particular some Chinese restaurants is when they use old or frozen veggies. This is especially bad when it’s a vegetarian restaurant. The server at Chez Rose was really nice, but this is maybe the worst vegetarian restaurant that I’ve ever eaten at. It made Mother’s Market taste like Spago’s. I tried 6 different items and didn’t eat more than a bite or two of each. I thought maybe I was on candid camera. It’s on the western outskirts of little Saigon, but I won’t tell you where cause maybe you think there’s no way it’s that bad and you’d like to try for yourself. Don’t kid yourself… stay away.

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