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9 Best Vietnamese Dishes In Los Angeles

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Vietnamese cuisine encompasses a mix of fragrant, taste, and color and always uses five fundamental taste senses: spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet. The cuisine is admired for its minimal use of dairy and oil and abundance of fresh ingredients while common ingredients include fish sauce, shrimp paste, soy sauce, rice, lemongrass, ginger, mint and basil leaves. Whether you are craving some hearty Pho, a Banh sandwich or dumpling or meats prepared using a Vietnamese influence, here are some of the top dishes to try in L.A.

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(credit: Rick Poon)

Vietnamese 'Sunbathing' Prawns
1314 7th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-6699

In 2015, along with his wife, Bryant Ng partnered with friends and restaurateurs Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan to open Cassia in downtown Santa Monica, which combines the energy of a French brasserie with the fresh, vibrant flavors of Southeast Asia. Chef Ng represents his Chinese-Singaporean through Cassia's menu while Nathan and Laurel Almerinda prepare French-inspired desserts that weave in Southeast Asian flavor profiles. One of Cassia's most popular dishes is the Vietnamese 'Sunbathing' prawns which are prepared with garlic, Fresno chiles and Vietnamese hot sauce.

simbal - verified - jarone
(credit: Bill Kramer)

Banh Mi Salad
319 E 2nd St. Suite 202
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-0244

Located in Little Tokyo, chef Shawn Pham of Simbal offers creative Southeast Asian cuisine influenced by his simple, yet balanced culinary style and inspired by his Vietnamese heritage. One of the most popular dishes on Simbal's menu is the Banh Mi Salad, which features all the traditional ingredients found in a banh mi sandwich - pickled vegetables and fresh herbs, a baguette, Vietnamese sausage and headcheese - re-envisioned in salad form and adorned with deep-fried chicken liver paté balls. It's a favorite which keeps Angelenos coming back time and time again!

9021pho - verified jarone
(credit: Zach Reichard)

Vietnamese Noodles
490 N Beverly Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 275-5277

With locations across Los Angeles, 9012Pho is a Vietnamese/California fusion eatery that offers guests a healthy selection of rice, noodles, Pho, sandwiches and a new and popular Poké appetizer and entree. One of their more popular and signature dishes is the Vietnamese noodles which are stir-fried to be light, but are still quite filling. They are served with garlic, Parmesan cheese, shredded carrots, cabbage, scallions, micro cilantro and peanuts, as well as the guest's choice of either chicken, beef, shrimp or vegan chicken.

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(credit: Dylan + Jeni)

Nong La
2055 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 268-1881

Sawtelle Boulevard has long been known for their delicious Asian cuisine. From Japanese to Vietnamese, it's one of the best places in the city to experience delicious flavors. Situated in the middle of the action on Sawtelle is Nong La, a family owned and operated restaurant, that uses family recipes for every dish on the menu. Nong La first opened in 2012 with their location on Sawtelle in Little Osaka and have since expanded to their second location on La Brea. The most popular dish at the restaurant is their Pho which is cooked for hours using beef bones, ribs and herbs for aromatic flavors and doesn't use any MSG. The Pho is served with fresh rice noodles topped with white onions, green onions, cilantro and served with a side of fresh herbs and guest's choice of meat such as the most popular filet mignon. While the Pho is very popular, they do offer a myriad of other great options including their rice paper spring rolls, a great Banh Mi sandwich, as well as plates filled with your choice of pork, chicken or steak with a fried egg on top and rice on the side. Whatever you order, be sure to come hungry.

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(credit: Crustacean Beverly Hills)

Drunken Crab
9646 S Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 205-8990

Crustacean Beverly Hills opened in 1997 by Elizabeth An and Executive Chef Helene An, also known as "Mama," and have been made famous for their "walk on water" entrance as well as being one of the first restaurants to bring Vietnamese cuisine to mainstream America. In the Secret Kitchen, a completely concealed kitchen within the main kitchen, which is off limits to all employees except the An Family and chefs with over 10 years of employment with the family, one of Chef An's specialties is her Drunken Crab, a whole Dungeness crab simmered in sake, chardonnay, garlic and scallions.

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(credit: Chop Chop Photos)

Yellow Noodle Soup
Au Lac LA
710 W 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 617-2533

Au Lac LA is the sister location to Au Lac Fountain Valley, an Asian and raw vegan eatery that has been breaking plant-based stigmas since 1997. In 2015, Au Lac LA opened with a menu designed for pre and post-show patrons who are looking for sustainably sourced, nutritious, and innovative foods with organic beer, wine and spirits. One of their stand-out dishes is the yellow noodle soup, a comfort soup cooked traditionally with plant-based alternative ingredients. The soup offers springy wheat noodles, tender mushroom wontons, mock chicken made of soy, baby bok choy and chinese chives which float in a savory shiitake broth with a hint of ginger.

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Lemongrass Berkshire Pork Bahn Mi Sandwich
3300 Overland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 876-0910

Phorage is a locally sourced modern Vietnamese restaurant located in Culver City Palms. One of their most popular dishes is their Lemongrass berkshire pork bahn mi with kurobuta pork belly. They marinate the pork shoulder and cure the pork belly overnight and slow roasted until the meat is nice and tender. They then slice the meat and build their banh mi over a toasted baguette with house pickled carrots and fresh cilantro.

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(credit: RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen)

Hanoi Snapper
RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen
Westfield Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 552-9988

RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen is an upscale Pan-Asian-inspired restaurant in Century City which entices guests with its authentic decor and elaborate menu. Executive Chef Mohan Ismail, recent winner earlier this year on Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay", showcases the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India on RockSugar's extensive menu. But, unlike fusion cuisine, each dish on RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen's menu is authentic to its country of origin. One such example is the Vietnamese-inspired Hanoi Snapper, served Cha Ca La Vong style with rice noodles, cilantro, dill and peanuts with Nuoc Cham.

District Wok Lobster
(credit: Adele F./yelp)

District Wok Lobster
The District by Hannah An
8722 W 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 278-2345

Influenced by thousands of years of Vietnamese culture and the diverse districts of her native homeland, restaurateur Hannah An debuts The District by Hannah An, a harmonious dining experience that arouses the five senses and introduces guest to a contemporary interpretation on the traditional flavors of Vietnam. Hailing from the established Crustacean Beverly Hills hospitality family, the restaurant is Hannah's first solo endeavor and a very personal expression of all she holds dear to her native Vietnam. One of her signature dishes is the District Wok Lobster which is served with Hannah's homemade noodles, panko, frisee kale mix and cilantro.

Article by Jarone Ashkenazi is a freelance writer who covers: restaurants, bars, dating, relationships, sports and other lifestyle topics. More of his work can be viewed at Connect with him on Twitter: @JaroneAsh.
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