The real thing, and real competition for Golden Deli in San Gabriel.
The truth of it is, I don’t need a hell of a lot of style and ambiance when it comes to where I eat. I’m not a fan of white linen, five-star service and uniformed waiters doing their thing with a precision to be rivaled by the finest swiss timepieces.
I’d rather have a good place, that the locals and locals only know about, serving up some good, good food that those same locals know is done right.
I’d rather have Vietnam House (Sorry, there’s no website).
Like I said, it’s not the most stylish of places. Even good ol’ Golden Deli and its near-twin sister have more ambiance than this place. But as I majorly, majorly hinted before, you’re not here for style, you’re here for a good meal, and Vietnam House will sure as heck will give you one.
You’ve just got to find it first.
Remember what I said about the style? Well, that goes for the minimal that houses it. It’s a pinkish, coral color, and for some reason, the whole place looks…well…closed.
No lie, if you blink will driving past it, you’ll miss it entirely. I did my first go round.
Finally, I was able to swing around and pull into a space near the restaurant.
Walking in is no big deal. Walk in, get the attention of the Host, and get yourself seated. You’ll be handed a rather substantial menu, and you’ll be able to go from there.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: The sad thing is I came for the Pho, but saw Banh Mi on the menu, and well…you know how it went from there.
I also got a set of Spring Rolls with Grilled Pork. They were quite lovely except for the fact that they came with a dusting of Peanuts. Delicious for you, not such a good idea for me, the guy with the peanut allergy. I was able to dust the dust off (for the most part and enjoy my meal). But I had no idea the peanuts were coming, and they don’t exactly warn you on the menu.
No big. I sill plan to go back, and just ask them to hold the peanuts next time.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: It’s a thing to remember, especially here at Vietnam House, and especially considering Vietnamese food in general…that they put peanuts on everything.
This was rather surprising, given the fact that I’ve had plenty of meals at other Vietnamese joints, and never even so much had to tell them I had a peanut allergy. Everything either came marked as having peanuts in it, or you didn’t have to worry about it.
Here, you have to worry about it. The sausage rolls? Sprinkled in peanuts. It’s a bit of a bother, so just tell the waitstaff to hold ‘em, if that’s the way you need to go.
Also, given where the restaurant is situated, it’s a bit hard to see from the street. The Pinkish Strip Mall Complex is a bit maze-like for most tastes, with the store and shops facing unique directions if looked at from the outside. Once you get in the middle of the complex it makes some kind of sense, and most of the stores face inward. Vietnam House is toward the back, right along South Mission Drive.
PARKING: Relatively easy enough. Like I said before, odd-make like construction to the place, but all the Parking (all of it free) sits at the heart of the complex. Its going to be crowded most times, but you will be able to find a space with enough work.
710 W. Las Tunas Dr. #6
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626) 282-3630