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Ha Tien Quan: 99 Essential Restaurants 2013 

Thursday, Feb 28 2013
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When it comes to Vietnamese pho, the broth is often light and delicate, clarified like a proper French consommé. But bun mam, a soup that hails from the swampy southern provinces of Vietnam, is very different — call it the Mr. Hyde to pho's Dr. Jekyll. At San Gabriel's Ha Tien Quan, which specializes in bun mam, the soup is a tab of high-proof blotter acid: a booming, murky kaleidoscope of sweet, umami funk. Imagine a rich, heady stew, flavored with lemongrass, ginger and garlic; stocked with thin rice noodles, plump prawns, strips of braised pork belly, chunks of tender catfish and long strands of flat-leaved chives; and garnished with lime and fresh herbs. This creation alone makes Ha Tien Quan one of the most exciting Vietnamese restaurants in the area, even before you take into account the cha giò re, a variant of the crispy egg roll, where a latticework of rice noodles is subbed in for the usual wrapper, or banh knot: miniature, saucer-shaped egg crepes filled with ground shrimp and bits of pork. 529 E. Valley Blvd., Ste. 178A, San Gabriel; (626) 288-1896. Daily, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Entrees $7-$13. No alcohol.

 

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The 99 Essential Restaurants List:

A-Frame
Alma
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Attari Sandwich Shop
Bäco Mercat
Bar Amá
The Bazaar
Bestia
BierBeisl
Bludso's
Cacao Mexicatessen
Canelé
La Casita Mexicana
Cemitas Poblanas Elviritas
Chichen Itza
Chung King
Cole's
Coni'Seafood
Cube Cafe & Marketplace
Din Tai Fung
Eva
Father's Office
Fred 62
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Go's Mart
Il Grano
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Hatfield's
Ha Tien Quan
Hawkins House of Burgers
Hayat's Kitchen
El Huarache Azteca
Huckleberry
The Hungry Cat
ink.
Jar
Jitlada
JTYH Heavy Noodle II
Kang Ho Dong Baekjong
Kiriko
Kiyokawa
Kogi Truck
Krua Siri
L&E Oyster Bar
Langer's
Little Dom's
Lucques
Ludo Truck
Lukshon
Mariscos Jalisco
Matsuhisa
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Milo and Olive
Mo-Chica
Musso & Frank
Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa
Nickel Diner
Night + Market
Oinkster
Osteria Mozza
Pann's
Pa-Ord Noodle
El Parian
Park's BBQ
Philippe the Original
Picca
Pink's
Pizzeria Mozza
Playa
Pollo a la Brasa
Providence
R&R Soul Food
Ración
Red Medicine
Ricky's Fish Tacos
Rivera
Rocio's Moles de los Dioses
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Savoy Kitchen
Sea Harbour
Shanghai No. 1 Village Seafood
Soban
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
The Spice Table
Superba Snack Bar
Tacos Leo
The Tasting Kitchen
Tavern
Tsujita LA
Vincenti Ristorante
Wurstküche
Zam Zam Market

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