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The nem noung rolls that made them famous are still the ones against which all others are measured. The protein at the fulcrum is a ruddy concoction which isn't quite a sausage and not really a meatball, but a harmonious fusion of the two. A slender piece of it is grilled then wrapped tautly inside transculent rice paper with more vegetables than you probably had all week. And don't forget that secret dunking sauce-a substance whose recipe is better-guarded than nuclear launch codes. But you can still see them make the rolls on their assembly line; and then munch in their newly remodeled dining room. It doesn't look like a dolled-up high school gymnasium anymore, but it's still behind a 99-Cent-Only store.
To pick one restaurant out of the hundreds lining the streets of Little Saigon is tricky. For one thing, with Vietnamese cuisine, there are subgenres. But we like Brodard because it's got a little of everything. Fried yams served with mountains of herbs. Plates of rice with grilled meats. Noodles swimming in soup or stir-fried with crab meat. But no trip is complete without their famous nem nuong rolls. Pork or shrimp, chopped lettuce, and a crunchy eggroll skin is wrapped in rice paper and... More »
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