Thursday, November 02, 2006

Saigon Bistro - Westminster (Little Saigon)

Saigon Bistro is next door to a laundromat in a nondescript strip mall. The entrance is just a door with black glass. No windows. As you can tell by the picture, Saigon Bistro is a weird narrow triangular space. It's smallness and dim lighting creates a quiet ambiance. It's one of those restaurants that you wouldn't notice driving by. I was introduced to it by someone else years ago.

There are a handful of these Vietnamese-French bistros in Little Saigon. And they all serve as Meccas for the old Saigon intellectual elite. The menu reflects both cuisines with escargot, turtle soup, eggrolls, rabbit, duck l'orange, etc. on the menu. The French menu is twice as expensive as the Vietnamese side, so I usually stick to the cheaper end.

The complimentary toasty warm Vietnamese French bread also comes with small pats of herbed butter.

The perfect foil for escargot with herbed bread crumbs for $5.65.
I ordered the bun cha Ha Noi (Vietnamese grilled pork with rice vermicelli noodles Hanoi-style) for $6.95. The entree comes with slightly chewy fresh rice vermicelli noodles, marinated pork in fish sauce, pickled carrots, and greens -- lettuce, mint, and purple perilla.
Lil' sis ordered the com ga ro ti (Vietnamese roasted Cornish game hen with red rice) $6.75. The Cornish game hen is juicy, the skin is crackly crisp.
We were stuffed. Otherwise, I like to end my meal with bananas flambe with ice cream.

Update March 24, 2007: For more food pictures, including the bananas flambe with flames, and commentary by Henry Chan of Henry Chan's Food Videos, read my post on Saigon Bistro Again.

Saigon Bistro
15470 Magnolia Street
Westminster, CA 92683
(The entrance is really on the McFadden side.)


  1. Yummy! This place reminds me of Favori. But it looks and sounds so much better. I gotta check this out. Man, too many restaurants to try, too little time.

  2. This restaurant is not as good as it used to be. Their Steak and Cha gio is also good.

  3. Hi Elmo,
    I know!

    Hi anonymous,
    I agree. But I still think it's pretty good.

  4. The com ga ro ti is all I ever order there. My friend loves the duck though that's about it. I don't know what's happened but the quality of the food has declined a bit in the last few years. Have you tried La Veranda? (I haven't, just curious since it's another French-Viet place!)

  5. Hi Noodlegirl,
    I wasn't too crazy about the duck. My friends and I kept thinking if they made Peking duck and put the orange glaze over it, it'd be even better. But I'd have to agree, the food used to be better. I haven't tried La Veranda yet although i have heard about it. My other favorite French-Viet place is Le Jardin, but it's a little pricier.

  6. Saigon Bistro is very good. The owner makes everything fresh. We asked for the recipe for some of her items and she just smiled. Even their butter is made fresh each day. We would suggest trying everything at least once, especially the soups and steaks!

  7. Anon,
    A woman owner you say? It used to be a male owner when I ate there more frequently around 2000-2004. Perhaps a change in ownership? That would explain why my last two visits, which I've written about on this blog, have not been as good as it used to be. Their menu isn't very big so I've pretty much eaten almost everything on it.


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