Monday, January 29, 2007

Da Nang Com Tam Tran Qui Cap - Westminster (Little Saigon)

Nestled inside the far right corner of the Bolsa Mini Mall, obscured behind two big yellow umbrellas, and overshadowed by the bright lights of the nail salon next door, it can be easy to overlook Da Nang Com Tam Tran Qui Cap.

The restaurant is an awkward L-shaped configuration, with the small entrance at the tail end of the L and is easily missed unless someone gives you exact directions. The interior is bare bones basic with about a dozen utilitarian tables and chairs. But then Tran Qui Cap doesn't need any fancy embellishments, it has stayed in business for years by offering arguably the best com tam (Vietnamese broken rice) plates in town.

Com tam is traditionally peasant fare, utilizing leftover broken bits of rice that were formed during the harvest or processing. The rice is cooked slightly drier than normal, and takes on a couscous-like consistency. Or you can opt for banh hoi (Vietnamese steamed vermicelli sheets).

The menu is essentially variations of grilled meats to accompany your rice. Served with a side of Vietnamese herbs and pickled vegetables.

Your order comes with a small bowl of the obligatory nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce) and broth. The broth may be sipped as a light soup, or spooned over the rice if you think it's too dry.

Com Tam Tran Quy Cap - Westminster (Little Saigon) 1

Our order of Cha Gio (Vietnamese Egg Rolls) came first with a side of Vietnamese greens - lettuce, cilantro, mint, and pickled carrots and daikon. The egg rolls are crisp, filled with pork and shrimp. You can eat these plain, or wrap them in herbs and lettuce and dip them into the nuoc cham. One order was about $5 or so if I remember correctly.

Com Tam Tran Quy Cap - Westminster (Little Saigon) 2

Our order of banh beo, nine small discs of rice flour with minced shrimp, fried shallots and crouton bits, was only OK. The banh beo weren't pipping hot, so the rice flour consistency wasn't as smooth as I'd like. One order $4.95.

Com Tam Tran Quy Cap - Westminster (Little Saigon) 3

But I was really here for the com tam platter. Most plates fall within the $4.95 to $5.95 price range. I super-sized and shared, so this platter was $7.95. Tran Qui Cap is known for their marinades and the grilled pork chop took center stage, with grilled shrimp, Cha Trung (Vietnamese Steamed Meatloaf Omelet), shredded pork skin, and the house specialty - Tom Hau Ky (Vietnamese Shrimp Paste Deep-Fried in a Bean Curd Wrapper). While some other com tam restaurants might offer this, the shrimp is not nearly as thick, the wrapper not nearly as crispy, flaky. If you don't see the combination of grilled meats that you'd like, you can simply request particular ones be added to your plate.

Com Tam Tran Quy Cap - Westminster (Little Saigon) 4

But then if the juicy details in this photograph haven't convinced you of Da Nang Com Tam Tran Qui Cap's deliciousness, then I don't know what will.

This post is also reprinted with permission on OC Food Blogs.

Da Nang Com Tam Tran Qui Cap
9607 Bolsa Ave.
Westminster, CA 92683
Closed Thursdays


  1. Hey WC - Looks great! I've never had Com Tam Dac Biet...or whateer combination of meats, where they are all good...but it's a great way to figure out what the place does well.

  2. Dang that looks bad the supersize only comes with one meat - no beef or chicken :-(. I think I will need to visit a cam tam place soon.

  3. Hi Kirk and Bill,
    Most com tam places will let you customize your plates. Sometimes I don't even look at the menu, I just ask the waiter if I can have such and such meat or eggroll. I mean, it really doesn't make any difference to them since they're not mixing anything together, they're just adding it on top of the rice.

  4. dang, everytime I order this, I get lotsa leftovers, yes, customize, and I ended up w/ bit of everything on my plate haha. I like the grilled t-bone steak with the broken rice, yums :)

  5. OK. I've been bad. I've been meaning to try Quy Cap. Is this on the corner of Bolsa and Brookhurst? My friend pointed it out to me, but it had no sign.

  6. Hi Melting Wok,
    Nothing wrong with leftovers. :)

    It's inside the same strip mall as Thanh My. The sign is above the nail salon and the other store's sign so it's easy to overlook. Just look into the corner behind the two yellow umbrellas.


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