This morning, Mr. O handed me $80 in cash before we headed out to OC for a short day trip to haul kitchen stuff. He knows well enough that many businesses up there only take cashes and prepared the money for me in advance. However, I didn’t need to use cash today. So now I am $80 richer!
We took highway 15 North, connected to 91, then 55, then 22 to get to Garden Grove. It took a little bit over an hour with little traffic for both ways. The mountain ranges right around Temescal Valley looked so dry and scorching brown, evidence from the lack of rain and long-term drought. I told Mr. O that we should take another trip in December, when we have a little rain to see if there are going to be some changes to the scenery. It was still a beautiful drive, squeezing in between mountain tops and valleys.
It’s been about eight months since the last time we were up in Little Saigon. Whenever I am there, I seem to have my sensory feeling overly stimulated with all the environmental prints in Vietnamese. And during the election time of the year, political campaign boards and slogans were also lining up on sidewalks, traffic corners, front yards, as well as billboards. Many of them are of Vietnamese surnames — Nguyễn, Đỗ, Hồ, Bùi.
So interesting to see!
The overflowing number of restaurants, shops, and markets also made me feel anxious when I have to select which one to go. There are so many, and I don’t want to limit my options, but I also want to stick to the ones I had been to for consistency purposes.
There are also so many Vietnamese restaurants I want to try, but they are not suitable to Mr. O’s taste or preferences. And with more than one dietary restrictions, it makes even harder for me to go and enjoy the food that I like to eat. That sucks! He tends to stick around with fusion food, the ones that are somewhat cater to his type of clienteles. I once took him to Garlic and Chives, but he didn’t think highly of their food. We also went to this famous bánh xèo (Vietnamese savory crepes) place, but he did not enjoy it, even though I did. He just compromised.
I just want to kick his ass sometimes!!!!
I hauled a whole bunch of stuff from ABC supermarket, including bunches of Vietnamese herbs. I need the stems to propagate and regrow them in my backyard. That’s the downfall living in the valley with only two Asian markets and neither one carry selected items that I need. I am hoping that my effort will pay off so that I have a reserve of fresh herb in the garden in the months to come.
Anyway, I also hauled six bottles of fish sauce and two bottles of Maggi soy sauce. Mr. O told me to buy more, he suggested that I should get a whole case for each, but I was afraid that one of them might break during transportation and stink the rental car. Other items I stocked up were rice noodles and rice flour of different kinds for different cooking/baking needs. The prices were fairly cheaper than the ones they have here.
I also bought some bánh mì, but was disappointed that the baguettes were off. They lack that crunchy texture on the outside and airy on the inside. However, the shop that I went to had other items that I like and found them to be of good quality. I guess that cancel out the disappointment for bánh mì.
Today, a blog reader commented with some good recommendations…I have to try these places next time I go back.
Thank you, em! 🥰🥰🥰
…Saigon’s bakery or carrot and daikon for banh my are highly recommended. Banh my thit heo quay is very good at carrot and daikon (there is a drive through) and the rest is just ok. Saigon’s bakery is good with everything and it is close to Long Phung bakery for moon cake for upcoming tet trung thu. There is also My Thuan market at the same plaza. The only drawback of Saigon’s bakery, Long Phung and My Thuan is the small size of their stores. I went grocery shopping there to stock nuoc mam, banh Trang, noodles and all Vietnamese spices around 3pm yesterday and were not overcrowded. Was able doing everything in less than 2 hours. My parents in law told me that purple yams at My Thuan are the best yam they found in OC.