It’s Cinco de Mayo today so the three of us went to get Cambodian food this morning. I know, that sentence did not make any sense (especially since Mexican food is on my top 5 list) but that’s how it is when you live in LA, home to Little Tokyo, K-Town, Thai Town, Chinatown(s) and Cambodia Town. We are a United Nations in one sprawling county. And anyway, just a few doors down from this house cum Cambodian restaurant a guy was barbecuing meat in front of his Mexican restaurant for the occasion.
This Phnom Penh Noodle restaurant first caught our attention from the line of people outside its doors. We had to take a few double takes since it looked like someone’s house, and we weren’t quite sure if it was really a restaurant or just somebody having a big party!
As it turned out, it was a little of both. It was definitely a house converted (and I hope permitted for) into a resto. But it was so full of people loudly and excitedly waiting for their food that it felt like a party, even at 11 in the morning.
I’ve never had Cambodian food before, but from what I saw on other people’s tables, the noodle dishes looked fairly similar to Vietnamese/Chinese food. The woman at a table next to us said it was also her first time there but she was referred by a friend who supposedly ate there every day. As in yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The hope odometer shot up in my head. I’m pretty adventurous about most things–well, everything. Just not food.
But how can you really go wrong with seafood noodle soup, right?
It came with broth on the side (you can order it with the soup in the bowl or on the side, as we also do in VN cooking):
So the next time you are in the mood for an escape from Chinese, Japanese or Vietnamese soup, go to Long Beach for the Cambodian version. It’s worth its Yelp ratings, and its Facebook page has more likes than my own FB page for my blog. Maybe I should offer real food with every blog entry instead of just eye candy!