Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa: 99 Essential Restaurants 2013

If you walked into Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa expecting to inhale a bowl of noodle soup, you might be dismayed to discover that pho is not served here. Rather, the house specialty is its namesake dish, nem nuong, or pork meatballs, skewered and gloriously charbroiled. These are tasty on their own, but if you don't mind a bit of D.I.Y. action, order them as part of a set served with rice papers and garnishes so you can wrap and roll your own spring rolls, as most families do. While you're here exploring the world of Vietnamese cuisine beyond soup, you may as well try a few other choice dishes: the bánh bèo, or taco-sized rice cakes that are steamed and topped with dried shrimp, say, or the bánh hoi, a mat of thin, intricately woven vermicelli topped with chopped scallions and garlic. 9016 Mission Drive, Rosemead; (626) 286-3370. Mon.-Tues., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thurs.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Entrees $6-$16. Cash only. No alcohol.


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