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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon)

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 1

After lil' sis's graduation, we toyed with various locations in San Diego for dinner, Chinese family-style or fancy steak house? As circumstances dictated, I alerted oldest nephew to a last-minute deal on JetBlue from Long Beach to Portland so he could come home for his brother's graduation, we ended up in Orange County for dinner. Since it was a special occasion, I suggested Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine. That was just as well since the number of people attending grew from our immediate family to more than a dozen people.

Brodard Chateau is from the same family as the original Brodard Restaurant - Garden Grove (Little Saigon), but fancier. The restaurant's facade is a Swiss? French? chateau-like building. According to The Orange County Register article I read in 2006, the 8,000-square foot chateau opened with 25 employees and operating costs of $100,000 a month. Pretty pricey by anyone's standards, but for a Vietnamese restaurant, unheard of. Was Little Saigon ready for an upscale Vietnamese restaurant?

I think the fact that it's still around four years later says so.

After dropping off oldest nephew at the airport, lil' sis and I met up with the rest of the caravan. Immediately upon entrance, was an extensive bar and curving staircase.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 2

We were seated right above it on a rather walkway-like area. Not so great for such a huge group of people.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 3

I really liked the artwork. Not so much the drunk and loud group of people sitting in front of it.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 4

Order for us, says my mom.

It's a Vietnamese restaurant, you can order for yourself, I told her.

She gave me the "why are you being so difficult" look. Huh?


Because of the extensive bar, I ordered a Vietnamese mojito, fresh lime juice, mint, 10 Cane Rum, and club soda, $7.95. It was good, but tasted like a regular mojito, nothing Vietnamese about it. Hmph! I felt a little suckered.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 5

Everyone else ordered soda chanh (Vietnamese limeade), $3.75.

Brodard Chateau has almost? all? of the menu items from Brodard Restaurant with a few more upscale dishes as well. So I ordered doubles of my favorites from the restaurant. Banh Khot (Vietnamese Lunar Cakes), $7.95.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 6

Banh tom co ngu (Vietnamese sweet potato and shrimp fritters), $7.95. Pot of tea, $2.95.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 7

Nem Nuong Cuon (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patty Rolls), $4.25, and Chao Tom (Vietnamese Sugarcane Shrimp Rolls), $5.25. The plate below was one or the other, they look pretty similar once wrapped in rice paper. And their famous dipping sauce. The big difference between the chateau and the restaurant? Price. The plate below was actually TWO orders. So you get one less roll for the same price.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 8

Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef), $12.95. This was the favorite of the night. There was a special sauce to the beef and it was incredibly tender. Good thing I ordered two plates.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 9

Lil' sis ordered Chilean sea bass in black bean sauce $22.95. Good but small fillet and too pricey.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 10

One of the unusual items, and I'm totally going to steal this for a future recipe, was soft shell crab rice paper rolls, $9.95. Pretty pricey for two rolls, but they were pretty darn good.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 11

Prawn garlic noodles $17.95. A little pricey, yeah? Sorry, I keep harping on price. I know we're paying more for ambiance, and they have those huge operating expenses, but when it comes to Vietnamese food, I know I can make it for way less.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 12

My dad's friend ordered Cha Ca Thang Long (Vietnamese Hanoi-Style Turmeric and Dill Fish), $14.95. I told him the owners were from Nha Trang so we shouldn't order Northern dishes, but he wanted to see how it was prepared here. Huh! Then what was the point of insisting I order because they didn't know what was good at the restaurant if they were going to order anyway? *Grumble. Grumble.* Anyway, the cha ca Thang Long was good, if prepared unlike the original Cha Ca La Vong in Hanoi version, but standard Vietnamese-American version on a fajita plate with all the usual sides of noodles, Mam Ruoc (Vietnamese Fermented Shrimp Paste), peanuts, and toasted rice paper.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 13

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 14

Another favorite was seafood in XO sauce, $15.95. Yummy XO sauce. We ordered a second plate.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 15

My mom suggested ordering two plates of calamari, $9.95, to finish off the meal. This was the worst dish of the night. Just look at it. Barely breaded or battered. I would've preferred Italian or Chinese calamari. This was just bad. Chewy, deep-fried squid.

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) 16

In the end, nice ambiance to experience for a special occasion, but I'd just go to the original Brodard Restaurant for my favorite dishes at a cheaper price.

Afterward, my parents said they liked the older '88's graduation dinner the night before at Seol Ak San - Stanton more. Different flavors, but still yummy and a better value, my mom said.

"Are you going to talk about the proudest day of your life," lil' sis asked me?


Silly lil' sis. That would be my college graduation.

Happy graduation sweetie! I am so proud of you. And always so glad that you're my little sister.

The happiest day of my life was when I met my new baby sister. I even have the diary entry to prove it. :)

Now, go read the lil' sis category so you can stop nagging me to blog about you again. :P

A few other Little Saigon restaurants:
Binh Dan Restaurant (De 7 Mon (Vietnamese Goat in 7 Courses)) - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Brodard Restaurant - Garden Grove (Little Saigon)
Da Nang Com Tam Tran Quy Cap - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Ngu Binh Restaurant - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Pho Thang Long Restaurant - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Quan Hy Vietnamese Restaurant - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Quan Vy Da Restaurant - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Regent West Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Santa Ana (Little Saigon)
Rockin' Crawfish - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Saigon Bistro - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Vien Dong Restaurant - Garden Grove (Little Saigon)

Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine
9100 Trask Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92844
Monday to Thursday 10:30 A.M. to 9 P.M.
Friday to Sunday 10:30 A.M. to 9:30 P.M.

1 year ago today, Mister Lincoln Rose.
2 years ago today, Lomo Saltado/Thit Bo Xao voi Khoai Tay Chien (Peruvian/Vietnamese Stir-Fry with French Fries).
3 years ago today, nem nuong cuon (Vietnamese grilled pork patty rolls) and the best dipping sauce in town at Brodard Restaurant - Garden Grove (Little Saigon).


  1. I love Vietnamese food! Look at all those lovely dishes...!

  2. Fancy, fancy, fancy -- but sometimes don't you agree that you just want a good restaurant experience? It's also time for some "ethnic" cuisines to get their due and charge comparable prices to mainstream food. :)

  3. Ha, when I was trying to find the regular Brodard I drove by this place and skipped it. Ended up having a so-so meal at a restaurant in Little Saigon. :(

    Yeah, those calamari look very disappointing. Those rolls look good though! Only if they cost less. I never get the point with ethnic places that are way overpriced (this one's OK I guess?). Maybe that's why I dislike almost all of the expensive Chinese places. LOL.

    Nice template change by the way!

  4. Never been to the chateau, only been to the plain ol brodard about 50 times. what the heck do they put in their sauce anyway?!

  5. I love brodard! :D Brodard Chateau took over an american restaurant that used to cut people's ties off when they came in. I'm pretty sure it was american; it has been a while. :P

  6. The "why are you being so difficult" look -- Bwahahahaha. =D

  7. I never would've thought a place called Brodard Chateau would serve Vietnamese food!

  8. Good ole Brodard. I miss their food. Been too long since I've been home in Orange County. Didn't know that they had a location in SD!

  9. Can't wait to bring you to our favorite Viet eatery here to check if they're authentic...or at least decent :D

  10. awww. how sweet of u! I chuckled when I read that u ordered 2 servings of everything then I realised that the portions are not that big after all!!

    I was reading Red Lantern- an story recipe book by a viet family who came to aus as refugees and they commented that viet food is better outside of vietnam because of the quality of ingredients. I wonder if this is true in this case as well?

  11. After reading this, I decided it's time to go home and have dinner. YUM!

  12. Cooking Gallery,
    The majority of the food was good, just the calamari was bad.

    I think if you want a nice place to conduct business over a meal, or just if you want the ambiance more than the food, this is a good place. But for my favorite dishes, I go to their other location. Of course, this is nothing compared to Crustacean. Now, that's pricey Vietnamese food. Waaay too rich for my pocketbook.

    Hmm. Wonder which restaurant you didn't like? The original restaurant isn't too hard to find now, not like when it was far inside at its original-original location.

    Just a little tweaking. I generally prefer my template to be simple. Now, if only I can figure out how to number my comments again. The old method won't work on the new templates.

    I prefer the old Brodard too. I know what's in their secret sauce, but I'm not telling. :P

    Who doesn't love Brodard? :)

    Oi, I can see my mom wondering why I wrote that. The problems with too many people reading my blog these days.

    Another place to add to your list for the next time you come back from San Diego.

    They don't. The title, post, and address clearly state Garden Grove and Orange County.

    I can't wait to visit Hong Kong some day so you can take me!

    The portions were mostly good. Only the rolls were one less than the original location.

    "Secrets of the Red Lantern" is one of my favorite cookbooks. And I think I've probably said it in a post somewhere long ago, but yes, I think Vietnamese food is better abroad because of the quality of ingredients is better. Unless the restaurant in Vietnam doesn't skimp, then it's just as good or even better. But on the whole, the small places and street sellers in Vietnam can't afford to use high quality ingredients and still sell.

    Haha. :)


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