This central Vietnamese restaurant has been open for five years in an Alhambra strip mall, and as we later learned, garnered praise from the likes of Noodle Whore and Jonathan Gold. Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa has only got only nine tables, but thankfully, many more preparations of pork. They’re best known for their nem nuong – charbroiled meatballs – and an order inevitably made it to our table, but the more memorable dish was undoubtedly Bun Nem Chya Cha Ram ($5.50).
The bowl of rice vermicelli (bun) appeared with the requisite piles of julienne carrot, crushed peanuts and minced scallions, with a base of chopped greens, cucumber and herbs. However, the component that held the most interest was the charbroiled, thumb sized sour pork patties. Some of the sausages were embedded with chopped garlic cloves, others with spicy jalapeno and a third contingent completely unadorned. No matter the patty, they all had a pungent pickled intensity. The high value bowl even came with a choice of shrimp or pork cha gio (fried egg rolls). We opted for crispy cigars filled with whole shrimp and scallions, bulbs and all. After integrating the elements and adding carrot-strewn fish sauce, it made for a satisfying, summery lunch.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.