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Nong La Cafe Grand Opening

Nong La Cafe Grand Opening

If you visit Sawtelle in Santa Monica frequently, you probably have seen Nong La Cafe. Nong La is a family-owned Vietnamese eatery on the Westside. Tonight, they were kind enough to invite me to preview their newest location on La Brea in Los Angeles before it officially opens to the pubic on March 24th. The new eatery's decor is minimalist and gorgeous. They're even going to have Vietnamese sake soon on the menu. I've never had Vietnamese sake. I'm both intrigued and afraid, but that makes for the best food stories. Let's take a look at what I ate at the preview!IMG_1284I started off with a traditional Vietnamese Soda Chanh aka fresh squeezed sparkling lemonade and a passionfruit iced tea.

I ordered Nong La's signature Vietnamese banh mi. Their version came with cage-free fried egg on a warm French baguette served with their house mayo, pickled carrots/daikon, cilantro, and jalapeños. This was so tasty. It's hard to find a good Vietnamese banh mi. I really didn't expect to find one as good as this at a restaurant. I would have expected this at a banh mi bakery. IMG_1287For an appetizer, I started with an order of Hen Xuc Banh Da Me/Baby clams with green mangos, onions, chili flakes, mint, peanuts, shallots, cilantro, and fish sauce vingarette. This dish and the banh mi was probably my favorite dishes of the meal. The salad tasted so fresh and the baby clams were juicy and paired well with the green mangos. Very refreshing. IMG_1297Next up was the Thit Kho Trung, which is Braised Pork Belly with Cage Free Boiled Egg. Although the sauce was done well, the braised pork belly could have been cooked softer. The flavor profile was still on point though. I just prefer my pork belly to melt in my mouth.

All 3 noodle dishes I ordered were delicious. My preference would be for the Beef Noodle and the Tomato Vermicelli Noodle Soup.

I ended my meal with a Vietnamese Iced Coffee Float. IMG_1321An order of Vietnamese Caramel Flan didn't hurt either!

I have to say, I'm very picky about my Vietnamese food. Despite being ethnically Chinese, I've always been a Vietnamese food snob since my family was born there and I grew up on the cuisine. I really didn't have much of an expectation for Nongla Cafe considering their location. I'm so happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised. Prices are typical West LA prices. Expect to pay about $10 per noodle dish. If you're in the area and want some authentic Vietnamese food, I highly recommend checking out Nong La Cafe.

The newest Nong La Cafe location will be open to the public on March 24th.

The address is: 145 N La Brea Ave Los Angeles, CA 90036

The original location on Sawtelle is located at: 2055 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Kitchen Story Grand Opening

Kitchen Story Grand Opening

Privy Chase Lunar New Year

Privy Chase Lunar New Year