I truly believe that one can eat at a different Vietnamese restaurant in the “Little Saigon” area of Orange County, and may never repeat a restaurant for at least a year. There’s just that many Vietnamese restaurants, and that’s not including other Asian restaurants like Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, etc.
Mon Ami Cafe restaurant is located off Euclid Street in Garden Grove. From the outside, the storefront looks like any other restaurant in a strip mall. Inside, though, is a refreshing take as they try to transform you into a Parisian sidewalk cafe. The ceiling is painted sky blue, and the walls have faux storefront and window dressings. There’s even trees and a light post inside to give it a genuine street feeling.
The more popular dish here is their sizzling platters, where a Filet Mignon is placed on a sizzling platter, sort of like a fajita. They’re also popular for their pate sauce, and many people combine the filet and the pate for their rich and heavy meal.
The down side of ordering the sizzling platter is you (and your clothes) end up smelling like your meal. Being that I was on a lunch break, I chose to have the steamed chicken and garlic rice plate. My friend, Ken, had their combination pho, both price around $7.95.
My steamed chicken was similar to the popular Chinese/ Singaporean dish Hainan chicken, which is a poached chicken garnished with fresh cut ginger and green onions. It wasn’t quite the same as a Hainan chicken but it did suffice my Hainan craving. Typically, the Hainan chicken is served with rice cooked in the chicken broth, and infused with more ginger. Mon Ami served this dish with garlic rice, which tasted like it was garlic, browned in oil or butter, and then mixed with the steamed rice that may have been cooked with the chicken broth. It was delicious, and came with a bowl of chicken broth soup and a pickled cabbage and carrot salad.
The food is always good here, and satisfying. The service is less than desirable. Each time I visit, there’s always something wrong. Today, they forgot our drinks, and when we got them at the end of the meal, they were incorrect.
If you can overlook inconsistent service, stop here for some comfort French/ Vietnamese food. Mon Ami Cafe is located at 14291 Euclid Street in Garden Grove, CA.
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