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Friday, January 19, 2007

The Day I Ate Two Dinners: Bun Bo Hue An Nam and Homemade Thai

Seriously, I don't think my friends can think of anything else to do with me except feed me.

After dim sum with my friend, I went to the South Bay to hang out with some other friends. Of course, the first thing they asked me was whether I wanted something to eat. I said I just ate, and was only going to stay a few hours because my cousin's friend was making dinner for a group of us (namely me, my siblings, and assorted cousins). Nonetheless, before I headed back up north, they wanted to feed me anyway and took me to the best bun bo Hue (Vietnamese Hue-style beef noodle soup) in town.

Originating from the imperial capital of Hue, bun bo Hue's, dark broth comes from long simmered beef bones, tinted red from chili and annatto seed oil, and intensely aromatic from lots and lots of lemongrass (usually at least half a dozen stalks per pot).

Bun Bo Hue An Nam's rendition was deeply flavorful without being heavy, strongly fragrant with lemongrass, just spicy enough. Although, extra chilis were brought for diners to add more. The noodles were just right -- not too chewy, not too soft. Sliced onions. Chopped mint. Loads of beef flank slices. Cha lua (steamed pork sausage) slices. Beef blood cubes. And individual side plates of sliced white and red cabbage, banana blossom, mint sprigs, and lime. No pigs feet though. And I was in the mood for gelatinous skin and tendons too.

You've got a choice of beef or pork meats. Large or small.

This is the small beef bowl.

Even though I knew I'd be eating again in an hour, the broth was so good I kept slurping anyway.

I'm not sure if there's anything else on the menu. The waiter handed us menus, my friends ordered for me without cracking it open. I looked around and all the other patrons were eating the same thing. My philosophy has always been, if a restaurant names itself after a particular dish, take in their built-in recommendation and order that dish.

Bun Bo Hue An Nam
740 Story Rd., Unit 3
San Jose, CA 95122

Apparently, the same owner has a Pho Ga An Nam nearby if that's your thing.

So after dinner #1, I sped back to my cousin's friend's place so I wouldn't miss out on dinner #2.

Here's his gorgeous new designer dining room lamp.

Crab and cashew fried rice, pad see ew with chicken, steak and shrimp salad.

Yummy shrimp tom yum.

Cousin's friend's girlfriend made a chocolate torte. Very chocolatey, not too sweet. Since cousin's friend is an honorary family member, we all strongly hinted that it would get her in good with the family if she cooked for us. We are so blatantly devious when it comes to our bellies. So worth it though.

My brother's girlfriend makes the best tiramisu ever. Just wet enough without being soggy, still slightly firm, very soft, very good.
A couple of bottles of white wine, a bottle of red wine, a few half-bottles of dessert wine later, we were all stuffed to the gills.


  1. I live at the Southbay! Looks like the bun bo hue is soooo....good!

  2. Oh my talk about gorging I would too. LOL Me pass up good food. NEVER!

  3. Tigerfish,
    Let me know if you try it and what you think.

    Man, between me and you, our waistlines must really be suffering.

  4. Bun bo hue is soo sexy. I'm all drooly now.

  5. CP, Yeah, I bet it was real sexy when my friend had to mop up the sweat running down his face. :P

  6. Hi WC - Bun Bo Hue....one of my favorite things in the world!

  7. So chopsticks, who's the awesome chef of that great looking Thai dishes?

  8. Hey "anonymous,"

    If you're who I think you are... I thought I was protecting your identity by not showing your picture. But if you want my women readers to swoon over a picture of a man in the kitchen, I can oblige. :)


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