Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011
Most people know central Vietnamese cooking strictly through the noodle soup bun bo Hue. But in the Kanh Hoa region, the emblematic dish is nem nuong, a kind of bouncy pork meatball impaled on a skewer, grilled over an open flame and served smoky, sizzling and naked on a plate. Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa isn't much to look at, a bare-walls storefront in an Alhambra shopping center. But its nem is pretty spectacular, especially when served as part of a combination platter alongside tiny pork patties grilled in banana leaves, a heap of the crunchy cigarette-size egg rolls called cha ram tom, the sour fermented pork lozenges called nem chua and grilled lemongrass-marinated beef, among other things — all ready to be rolled up in damp rice paper with vegetables and Vietnamese herbs. After a half-hour you are happy, full and stinking of garlic. 1700 W. Valley Blvd., Alhambra. (626) 943-7645. Wed.-Mon., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. No alcohol. Lot parking. Cash only. Vietnamese.
99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:
Church & State
Din Tai Fung
El Huarache Azteca
Euro Pane Bakery
Fab Hot Dogs
Good Girl Dinette
La Casita Mexicana
Lazy Ox Canteen
Meals by Genet
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
Night + Market
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Pollos a la Brasa
Sapp Coffee Shop
Son of a Gun
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Waterloo & City
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