One of the freshest and healthiest cuisines we’ve found is Vietnamese and from Little Saigon in Orange County to the San Gabriel Valley, little local establishments put out some impressive renditions of the flavor filled dishes.
Viet Huong in El Monte is one such spot which doles out hot steamy bowls from a simple dining room.
Our exploration of the menu began with goi cuon tom heo, also known as summer rolls or salad roll.
These revitalizing rice paper rolls are stuffed with shrimp, lean pork, crisp fried pork, rice noodles, lettuce,and herbs and served with a sweet and savory peanut sauce.
Cha gio are fried egg rolls of rice noodles, pork, herbs and vegetables that are served with a plate of lettuce and fresh herbs for wrapping the rolls before dipping them into the chili spiked dipping sauce.
The crisp skins contrast well with the smooth savory filling.
We love to hit these rolls with a serious dollop of the chili oil found on the table.
Viet Huong has an extensive list of pho, noodle soups.
There are the traditional meaty bowls of rare beef,
But we were drawn to the bowls we had never tried before, spicy beef stews.
Bun rieu huyet (above) combines thin rice noodles in a tomato broth then adds shrimp, crab, chicken and pork blood cubes which are good for those who need some extra iron in their diet. The bun bo hue (pictured below) is a spicy bowl of beef broth with a spagetti noodle, herbs and onions. We swapped out the pigs blood and pork hocks for flank and they were happy to accommodate our request when some ingredients are a bit too exotic for our tastes.
The resulting spicy, rich and complex broth is highlighted by al dente noodles, herbs and tender chunks of beef.
We spike the soup with the juice from lime slices, torn up basil leaves and a handful of bean sprouts.
Exotic traditional Vietnamese coffee and tropical fruit drinks abound.
Cafe sira da is an iced espresso coffee with condensed milk,
While a cafe sira nong is a hot Vietnamese coffee that is strong in both it’s coffee kick and alluring sweetness. Vietnamese coffee drinks are a must try.
For a journey into the Vietnamese bounty a visit to Viet Huong is a good start.
Viet Huong Restaurant, 10727 Garvey Avenue, El Monte, CA 91733
Phone – 626-454-2590