December 4, 2008 16

Dinh Thieng (Little Saigon)

By in 18: Greater LA, Favorite Food Entries

Food adventure time! A group of us ventured out to Little Saigon for Vietnamese pub food (Quán Nhau). Dinh Thieng is located at a mall. After 9pm, the lights inside would dim down with disco ball lights spinning and girls performing karaoke on stage. The clientele made up mostly of men, many were smoking inside. Seeing that we’re not Vietnamese, we were handed this generic menu with the regular pho and bun when we sat down. The waitress said their pub menu wasn’t translated to English, but she was nice enough to recommend some dishes for us.

Various type of herbs, seasoned fish sauces and rick crackers to go with the following dish…

Raw Duck Blood. We thought it was the cooked kind (that I love) when the waitress recommended it. We stared at it while mustering courage to try. It’s good actually, the texture is like jelly and has a nice smoky, salty flavor. They mixed in some pig intestine inside so there’s an additional crispy texture. You’d eat it with the rice crackers and herbs. Only the surface layer is that magenta red, the bottom layer is a darker burgundy. But after a few bites, anxiety took over and we stopped eating.

Deer Ribs and Curry Deer. Both are so good: tender and loaded with herbs, lemongrass and very tasty~ Perfect with beer!

Grilled Cockle incredibly flavorful with garlic, chili hot sauce and peanut.

Seafood Hotpot . The sweet and sour broth is heavy flavored with chili, herbs and lots of shallots…it’s one of the most tasty thing ever. They gave us pho noodle as well so we can make ourselves a nice bowl of noodle soup. Afterward we also cooked those raw duck blood with it~

Perhaps every dish is so flavorful with a sour and sweet flavor, we felt like we could eat more. We got the Fried Quail. My goodness this is SO good! Well seasoned and spiced with various herbs and garlic…there goes another glass of beer!

The food is very impressive, though we wish it’s more accessible. I definitely recommend going with locals or someone who can speak Vietnamese.

Dinh Thieng
5126 Westminster Ave. Santa Ana, CA 92703

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16 Responses to “Dinh Thieng (Little Saigon)”

  1. Chubbypanda says:

    Whoa… I had no idea this place was there. I love game dishes. Gotta try it out!

  2. Marie says:

    Raw duck blood! Wow! I am pretty open-minded and try to be adventurous, but I would have cowered in its presence.

  3. Every morning I wake up with a craving for raw duck blood. Thanks for pointing out where I can get it….
    Was the hotpot spicy?

  4. Been years since I’ve had cockles. Usually we have this plain with fish sauce, but this is a quite interesting version.

  5. Freda says:

    Seems like many are excited about the raw duck blood! 😀
    The hotpot was so-so spicy.

  6. iwei says:

    this is the perfect place for a first date!

  7. nhbilly says:

    WOW you guys had a lot of guts to order the blood pie. I prefer goat over duck.

  8. Karen says:

    I can’t believe people were making a big deal about blood sausages when you’ve had duck blood. Crazy, but looks good.

  9. seat says:

    Were you expecting something like “pig-red” you get from street side hawkers in HK? I don’t mind blood but I can’t stand the raw part….

  10. yan says:

    you guys have a lot of courage to try the RAW duck blood!!!

  11. Freda says:

    You should have taken me here then, Iwei 😉

    Karen, yeah those blood sausage was nothing!

    Seat: yeah I was expecting pig red… 🙁

  12. Kat says:

    Wow, this is the first time I saw raw duck blood! It looks interesting ^_^ I will have to let my sister know. Based on your review I think I will be coming here Saturday for the Deer and Quail for sure!

  13. iv says:

    i like th food here all the food so good

  14. louis says:

    interesting the food they carri in there, the pig leg i never see before and the taste is so good all kind of deer , goat and alot of diferent kind of salad …. so so good ….

  15. […] Food 101 class. What happened to the quail, deer and duck blood dishes we’d read about on Potatomato’s blog? Thankfully, owner Ida Vu arrived at that exact moment, producing a Vietnamese menu and helping to […]

  16. […] Food 101 class. What happened to the quail, deer and duck blood dishes we’d read about on Potatomato’s blog? Thankfully, owner Ida Vu arrived at that exact moment, producing a Vietnamese menu and helping to […]