I will be completely honest about our road trip to the OC to enjoy some authentic Vietnamese in Little Saigon.
It’s not exactly the most picturesque of townships.
Unless you LOVE strip malls, then yes. Sorry, yes you will totally love this place if strip malls and streets lined with opressive, beige walls tickle your fancy.
We hit major traffic on our two hour journey to the OC so after waiting in line for our Banh Mi tasting, we just scarfed them down out of the trunk, in the parking lot.
It was a Vietnamese tailgate party.
Cars would creep up thinking we were on our way out, only to be sorely disappointed to see some weirdo taking pictures of his lunch.
After this segment of our day, we took a stroll through an Asian grocery store.
Wow, I’ve never seen anything like it. Dead fish layed out on ice as far as the eye can see.
Where anyone could touch them. Unsightly. But fascinating.
Enormous, exotic fruit you rarely see in person. Women would fill their carts with the gratuitous Jackfruit and Durian and their odd appearance reminded me giant, record breaking goiters. Freshly removed.
They even had a tank filled with live frogs for sale (and not for pets)!
Ok. Time for Pho.
After many wrong turns (it was like Groundhog’s Day!) we finally ditched my hours of research and chose the first Vietnamese Pho joint we could find.
Why did I stray from the norm?…
I had to order something different.
How innocuous does Lemongrass Beef soup sound??
I know, right?
Who knew I’d be presented with a banquet of beef hocks and square liver jello (I’m only guessing that’s what it was)!
I only found one lonely, burned piece of lemongrass. Looking as if he were desperately trying to avoid being sufocated by the bullying chunks of animal extras. Poor guy.
In conclusion, while our Banh Mi’s were cheap and great and everyone else’s Pho was tasty, it was NO BETTER than what we can get in LA and I couldn’t wait to get the hell home.