Archive for August, 2008

Nguyen Hoang!

August 30, 2008
 

 

Com Tom Suon

Com Tom Suon

For my second post, i would like to write about perhaps one of my favorite restaurants of all time, a place that i’ve been eating at for the past 15 years. Filled with mouth watering aromas, a newly remodeled dining area, and classic vietnamese dishes, Nguyen Hoang IS the place to go visit at least once in the 626 area.

First off, Lets try and pronouce the name correctly shall we? Each word in the name is only ONE syllable. Yup, did you know that all vietnamese and chinese words only contain one syllable? if you didn’t, now you do! Okay, lets try it out phonetically. “NWIN JUAN”.  combine the NW into one sound if you can, so its like saying the word WIN but with a strong N sound in the beginning. and JUAN, like the spanish name. now lets try it togther. NWIN JUAN. GOOOOOOD!!!! You speak vietnamese now. good job. hahahah.

Nguyen Hoang can be found in Alhambra, on the corner of the popular street of valley and the lesser known prospect. The nearest interection to this fine establishment is valley and New ave. Its been around for decades which can attest to its popularity. actually, my parents are friends of friends of the owners here when they lived back in vietnam, so i can definitely testify to its authencity. too bad they don’t know me, or else i could get discounts and come here all the time. =P

The sign outside

The sign outside

 They recently remodelled the restaurant, giving it a new hipper touch with asian flare including wooden bamboo like panels and even tropical lightning fixtures. neat!

Sweeeeeet lighting

Sweeeeet Lighting

     First off we start are meals with the ever famous shrimp rolls. If your vietnamese, these rolls are pretty much second nature to your eating habits. Containing various vegetables and shrimp wrapped in a like rice paper, you dip these in a peanut sauce. absolutely scrumptious. this appetizer is light and refreshing, definitely a good starting meal to get your hunger going.

 

Summer Shrimp rolls

Summer Shrimp rolls

The wrap is nice and tight, preventing all the various ingredients inside from falling out. i’m not sure, but i beleive this rolls also contain mint, giving it an extra kick to its flavor.

 On to the main course. I chose the com tom suon. the main dish is pretty simple, broken rice with pork. the broken rice is just regular rice crushed into half its  usual size.  FYI, the broken rice originated from the poor rice patty farmers of the old days. they would sell the good rice they produced and ate all the broken rice bits that couldn’t be sold. eventually it became a very common dish. interesting huh?

Com tom suon. $4.50
Com Tom Suon $4.50

 At $4.50 a dish, this can’t be beat price wise. the pork is actually quite different than other vietnamese restaurants sell. traditional com tom’s come with a pork chop. in this case, Nguyen Hoang gives thinly sliced pork chop charboiled on an open flame as can be seen by the darkened pieces in the picture. topped with some green onions and a splash of their fish sauce, this dish is an absolute winner. the meat is tender and flavorful and beats out a pork chop any day of the week.  

And of course, who could forget the small side of cucumbers and pickled radish and carrots to go with the meal. the cucumbers add a light and refreshing mix to compensate for all the meaty pork. The radish and carrots find a comfortable niche in supporting the flavor of the rice and fish sauce. Oh, and i also forgot to mention the light vegatable broth that comes with the rice dish. all for $4.50?!?1?! outrageous!  Vermicelli noodles

Vermicelli noodles

My friend got the vermicelli noodles. unfortunetly he was so hungry upon looking at it, that he tackled the food before i could get a picture. hahahah. basically this dish contains vermicelli on top of a large amount of various vegetables such as lettuce, mint leaves, carrots etc. it also contains different types of charboiled or fried meats (depending on what you order) which could include pork, even fried spring rolls. you first mix up the vegetables at the bottom with the vermicelli, and pour a good heaping amount of fish sauce and bon apetit. yummy yummy!!!

 

 

5 outta 5 stars.

(Been coming here for 15 years, and most likely another 15 years to come!)

 

Nguyen Hoang Restaurant

401 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776

(626) 281-0017

 

 

My First post!

August 24, 2008

Welcome to Yummy  Monterey Park.  I know its been quite a few months since i started this blog and yet without a single post, you can’t really call it a food blog then eh?   I didn’t do a single thing since then. i was just absolutely AWOL.   SORRY!!!! =) on the plus side, throughout the months i’ve been quickly compiling a list of restaurants and pictures so that you’ll have a complete and compiled list of great MPK foodies on a regular basis. ENJOY! ANd so lets get started!

 Originally i wanted to start off with one of my most recent discoveries, Bollini’s a pizzeria in Monterey Park that served some of the best Napoletana style (thin crust) that i’ve ever had. Unfortunetly, they wouldn’t allow me to take pictures of their food , WTH?!?!, so i’m gonna have to review it another time once i go ninja photographer on their ass. hahaha. Until then, heres…

  BELLY BUSTER SANDWICHES

Pastrami

Pastrami

 I have mixed reviews about this little mum and pop’s sandwich shop located near the corner of atlantic and valley in alhambra. My fellow food critics on other sites have praised the heck outta this place. Telling me they have been going to this place for decades, that the bread is sooo soft and tender, and the tuna sandwich is to die for. To die for eh? Well I’ll decide whether I’ll take a bullet for this sandwich or not, thank you very much!

 

Me and my buddy decided to hit up this ghetto yet relatively clean joint after a good long hike through eaton canyon falls. A must if u live in the 626 area. More on that in another post. Lets just say at the end of the hike is a pretty darn good looking waterfall, that for the most part (hot summer day’s excluded when the rain water dries off).

the outside on valley blvd.

the outside on valley blvd.

There’s only outdoor seating, a few benches here and there to serve the local lunchtime crowd. As you can see, they don’t quite care for the athestics… Look, there are bars on the window! But wait! We can’t really call this Alhambra without all the Asians, so where are they?

 

 Oh wait, there they are. They are behind the counter taking our orders! It’s a mum and pop joint, the daddy making the food and the mummy taking the orders. Now, I don’t wanna be stereotyping, but heck, I have to because it’s pretty true, and that is, Chinese people are all business. The mummy was polite, but straight forward, offered good suggestions for food, but never really offered a smile. Really she just wanted to take our order and get it over with. Heck, I can live with that. If I wanted good service with a friendly smile, I would of gone to a really really expensive steak house, where I pay for them to smile. Hah!

 

As you can see, they have a huge menu board located to the right of the counter. They are most famous for their namesake, the belly buster, which is a foot- long sub containing a bunch of meats and imported cheeses. We got that with a side of small fries and onion rings.

 

Footlong Belly Buster w/ onion rings and fries

Footlong Belly Buster w/ onion rings and fries

As you can see, when we ordered small fries, what they really meant was small… for an elephant. They gave us a lot of fries for 1.49. Not the stringy shoe string kind, but the kind with a thick potato inside that gives you a good amount of taste. Personally I thought the fries were a little too cooked for me, but my buddy told me it was some really damn good fries in his opinion. I chose to ignore his opinion, because well, compared to my fast food expertise, he doesn’t know jack shit. Hah dude. Take that!

 

 

 

The onion rings were good but they didn’t give as much as the fries, and really, how can you screw up onion rings right? As for the main food, the subway, I was very dissapointed in it. Everyone was telling me how good the bread was, how soft and warm it was. When we got it, it seemed cold and somewhat hard. The buddy said this sandwhich was premade, which I had to reluctantly agree with because it had a cold temp to it throughout the entire sandwich. So sad. On the plus side they had salami, pepperoni, ham, turkey and a few other meats that really gave the sandwich a really good meaty kick. Elsewhere this sandwich, say subway, would go for close to 7 or 8 bucks.

 

Chili Cheese Fries!

Chili Cheese Fries!

 Moving forward, I decided to give the joint another try a month or so later. This time I wanted to try the hot sandwiches such as the pastrami in the very first picture and some chili cheese fries. The fries look good right? Meh. Looks can be deceiving. Though the fries were nice and crispy, they really skimped on the chili. The chili itself was watery and barely contained any ground beef at all. The Hats on valley and Garfield is head over heels better than this stuff. I can’t recommend this chili cheese fries. The pastrami itself was okayish. Pastrami was decent, a decent flavor to it but the texture was a little too dry for my taste and also the bread was kinda hard. I could only finish half of it, and later on in the afternoon, when I re-toasted the pastrami, it actually tasted a lot better than the first time around. Hah. Go figure.

 

 

3 outta 5 stars

 

Overall, I’d give this place a go every once and a while. Its cheap, fills you up, and overall not bad. Just another average sandwich shop.

 

Neighborhood: Alhambra
1142 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803

(626) 284-2083