The Best Mi Quang in Los Angeles

Mi quang at Hoa Binh | Photo by Clarissa Wei
A bowl of mi quang is always beautifully arranged. Cooked in a pork- and shrimp-based broth, it's a dish that's adamant about maintaining a variety of colors and textures. You have the chewy yellow of the turmeric noodles, the bright green ribbons of lettuce, the soft earthy pork, the tenderness of the shrimp, the pleasant crunch of the peanuts between your teeth, and the snap of the sesame-freckled rice crackers.

Mi quang is a central Vietnamese specialty, named after Qu?ng Nam Province, where it comes from. The broth is minimal; it's mostly there for flavoring and only covers 1/4 to 1/2 of the dish. The main attractions are the noodles, which are made out of rice and colored with turmeric, and the wonderful array of ingredients surrounding it.

Here are four great places in Los Angeles to get your fix:

Nha Trang | Photo by Chris L.
Nha Trang
Nha Trang is renowned for their bun bo hue (a rich beef soup), but if you happen to make it into their Monterey Park location, do give the mi quang a whirl. It's only available on weekdays and is layered with generous heap of lettuce, bean sprouts, pork knuckles, and shrimp. 742 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755.
Hoa Binh | Photo by Clarissa Wei
Hoa Binh Restaurant
"It means no more war," the owner Karen said, when I asked her what Hoa Binh meant. The pacifist restaurant, at two years old, has a menu of items from all the different regions of Vietnam. Karen and her husband were cooks back in Vietnam and their mi quang has always been a consistent bestseller. There are banana blossoms thrown in the mix along with fried shallots, sprouts, and a decent sized serving of whole, peeled shrimp. 9911 E Garvey Blvd, El Monte, CA 91733.
Kim Hoa Hue | Photo by Clarissa Wei
Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant
Kim Hoa Hue is one of the few eateries that specialize purely in central Vietnamese cuisine. We're glad that they do because their rendition of mi quang is one of the best in the area. It's bright, meaty, and comes with a couple of limes on the side which we highly recommend squeezing in to cut the fatty pork broth. It adds an extra kick. 9813 E Garvey Blvd, El Monte, CA 91733.
Regular mi quang at Xoia | Photo by Xoia
Xoia Vietnamese Eats
Xoia is worth mentioning because they have two versions of mi quang: a traditional rendition and a vegetarian one. The vegetarian dish is created with a shiitake broth base and supplemented with crushed peanuts, banana blossom, mint, enoki and beech mushrooms, lettuce, and bean sprouts. 1801 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026.

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