This is the Far East Plaza in the Los Angeles Chinatown I mentioned in an earlier post. It’s a mall on Broadway Street with stores specializing in ethnic goods, ranging from jade jewelry to Chinese herbs. Today, the building is best known as a destination for gastronomic adventure. Pok Pok Phat Thai, Roi Choi’s Chego, Ramen Champ and Scoops lend a more modern air to a generally traditional Asian cuisine. Heard Howlin’ Ray’s Nashville-style hot chicken is soon joining the scene next month.
My mom’s personal favorites at Far East Plaza are Fortune Gourmet Kitchen for budget-friendly, awesome Chinese food, and the unassuming Thien Houng Vietnamese Restaurant.
Took photos of the little family-run banh mi and pho eatery with my phone while eating at a table outside.
Mom and I make it a point to have pho and fresh spring rolls, with iced Vietnamese coffee, here. Prices are very affordable like the smallest pho (which is still big for me) costs $5.50. We tried the Vietnamese version of popular Filipino street food kikiam and fishballs. The red Vietnamese balls in the photo below are barbecued pork and so delicious with chili paste made even hotter with Sriracha. They sell native delicacies as well, and we always bring home banh bo nuong, also known as honeycomb cake, made of tapioca flour and pandan extract. The texture is so much like the rice version of puto.
A banh mi is something I’ll try when we go back again.
It’s also always a pleasure to go shopping at the nearby Far East Center across the building. Must-buys are white coffee, dried Chinese ingredients, preserved roots and all the Chinese tea for brewing.
A happy weekend everyone!
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