In August 2008, shortly after our failed attempt to dine at Dong Nguyen Restaurant because it was closed on Thursdays, and where lil' sis and I ended up at Banh Cuon Hai Nam Saigon, we came back again so she could get her fill of their cubed beef and tomato paste red rice.
They gave us complimentary small bowls of light soup broth to start off.
Don't freak out. Chicken feet and artichokes make naturally sweet broth.
I ordered a Thai iced tea $2.
And com ga Hai Nam (Hainanese chicken rice), $6.50. Mmm. Tender, yet firm chicken, just the way it's supposed to be. Served with Nuoc Mam Gung (Vietnamese Ginger Fish Sauce) just the way I like it. Both Dong Nguyen and Banh Cuon Hai Nam Saigon's versions of chicken rice are very good and very similar so you can't go wrong with either one.
Lil' sis ordered the Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef) with Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice), $7. This was very good too.
Later, I came back with my childhood friend for lunch.
This time, the complimentary soup was watercress.
I ordered the red rice with Ga Ro Ti (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken), $6.75, except that it was deep-fried instead of roasted. It's all good. I like it either way and love the crispy skin.
There are a slew of specials on the walls, but these dishes are what Dong Nguyen is known for. Or maybe just within my circle of people that's what it's known for. It's a Chinese-Vietnamese restaurant so you can't go wrong with any of the Chinese-style noodle stir-fries either.
Other chicken rice restaurants:
Banh Cuon Hai Nam Saigon - Alhambra
Pho Ga Vietnam Kitchen - San Gabriel
Savoy Kitchen - Alhambra
Dong Nguyen Restaurant
1433 Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91801
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
1 year ago today, Petroglyph Point Trail - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado.
2 years ago today, an American classic, the BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato) Sandwich.
3 years ago today, Sinh To Nha Dam (Vietnamese Aloe Vera Shake).