Now do we regret driving our 8-cylindered S.U.V's to the market just two blocks away?
It is hot, in fact, if you were a RAW food-ist...you probably wouldn't be able to leave your food outside (can't eat anything heated beyond 118°F). And what do I crave right now? Fresh, Crisp Lettuces speckled with water, coool satisfying herbs, cold food I guess. And since i'm in East L.A, there 'aint no Tendergreens or any cold, raw food places in sight. But I do have the coool Herbs and Lettuces of Vietnamese, Northern Vietnamese food too be exact. Huge plates, layered with watery Red Leaf Lettuces, gelid Basil, the ever-cool slices of Cucumber, Mint, Cilantro and my favorite; fresh Peppermint, green on the front side of the leaf and maroon on back, with a spicy yet soothing bite that's utterly amazing when combined with all those preceding ingredients and a little Nuoc Cham (fish sauce) fitted to your liking.
You can't beat this, ESPECIALLY right now. Whether used to wrap around "Asian Soft Taco's (actuallly labeled that in the menu, more like a vietnamese omelet though), rolled up around some of the flesh-like Bahn Cuon. Simply labeled in the menu as "Flour Sheet Rolls with stuffings of shredded pork or shrimp-kind of like a wet spring roll. Or cut up into pieces and topped with "Tempura", which weirdly, are damn good sweet potato fries (out of all things). If that's not enough, it's still circled with slices of Pink Pork Meat Loaf, Fried Tofu, Par-Boiled Bean Sprouts, Julienned Squash and marinated Carrots and did I mention some Crushed Peanuts already? Doused down with some of their sticky sweet house made fish sauce mixture that stands in every corner like 40oz bottles just waiting to get chugged, this place really knows how to eat.
Oh yeah, and they also have that same plate but "vegetarian", a molasses-like fish sauce and everything.
It does a pretty good job recreating it's once-active counterparts. Enough so that...I prefer it over traditional one, sans the fake fish sauce though...
Summer's barely begun, but I think I'll manage now...
Bahn Cuon Tai Ho
1039 E. Valley Blv. #103
San Gabriel, CA