Saturday, December 06, 2014

Nam Vang Restaurant in San Jose, California

Special Cambodian Rice Noodle

This place took me a while to figure out (2477 Alvin Avenue, 270-8939). It was smack in the middle of the Vietnamese community in East San Jose, and yet the front of the restaurant was plastered in Chinese characters. And then when I looked at the menu, most of the items were labeled as Cambodian. It was only now when I looked it up did it finally click: this is a Vietnamese interpretation of a Cambodian-Chinese dish called kuy teav. Yup, kuy teav is Khmer for what is referred to in Singapore as kway teow.

Ah ha. That explains why this tasted like something I might get at a hawker center back there. To be sure, the flavors in this bowl #1 special were much earthier with its fried garlic and celery leaves. In that sense, it reminded me a bit of Thaksin Beef Noodle, but lighter, particularly as you went to more simpler renditions on the menu like #5. Thanks for the tip; I'm glad that I tried it, and it was a nice change from the gazillions of phở places around.

No comments: