Nong La Cafe Grand Opening
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. For 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. Next 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 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