Kim Huong's Bun Rieu - Tustin
I know what you're thinking, but no, I haven't written about the bun rieu at Kim Huong. I've waxed poetic on Quan Hop's bun rieu (the homey dish I once described as the more feminine face of Vietnamese noodle soups) and praised Kim Huong's discounted prices on pho, but I haven't shared a word about this particular dish at this particular restaurant.
And not telling you about it is like leaving out Pirates of the Caribbean when I'm talking about Disneyland. Part of the reason is that it's become part of my take-out routine, and as such it disappears into my day-to-day consciousness, like brushing my teeth. What I'm saying is that I eat Kim Huong's bun rieu a lot. Their number is on speed dial, and when I call they usually know who I am, what I want, and that I'll be there to pick it up in ten minutes.
That's another thing about it: they'll package it up for me. The soup in its own container. Accoutrements in a baggie. Noodles in its own bowl. Only assembly required? Pour the broth on top of noodles. Squeeze the lime. Pile on as little or as much of the included roughage. Dinner's done.
Above the convenience, the price is rock-bottom low; because if I'm anything else besides a creature of habit (and lazy); I'm a cheapskate. The pre-tax price: $3.60 (it's $0.50 less if you opt to dine in).
The soup is wondrous and light. It's just slightly spicy, mostly sweet and tomatoey. Actual tomatoes are present, softened by the heat of the brew and slowly melting into it. There are floating rafts of fried tofu and compressed, meatloaf-like morsels made from ground pork, crabmeat, and what I guess is beaten egg as a binder. And of course, those wispy noodles that dissolves instantly in your mouth.
On the side, as tradition dictates, a plastic thimble containing a purplish paste that reeks like crab toe jam (this one I use very, very sparingly). A packet of ketchup, it is not; but neither is this typical take-out food...well, I guess for me, it is.
17311 McFadden Ave # B
Tustin, CA 92780
THIS WEEK ON OC WEEKLY:
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