This is Vietnamese cooking for the serious eater, for those of you who aren’t afraid of pig kidneys in your soup or gruff service at the counter. Canton is in what can be described as Little Saigon’s Chinatown, strip malls off Westminster Avenue and Newland Street where Chinese characters are as plentiful as South Vietnamese flags. The soups, however, are straightforward Mekong (and do order the soups: there’s a reason Canton’s Vietnamese name translates to “House of Soup,” and it’s not because of its awesome vintage marquee on the restaurant’s roof). And the strangest part of this self-deemed potage palace is that Little Saigon loves it best for the cháo, which isn’t technically a soup. The best one is their cháo cá, a tureen of rice and fish chunks spiked in fish oil, presented alongside a plate of ginger and slices of red snapper.
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Everything at Canton Restaurant is hot in one way or another, literally or figuratively—and both in almost all cases. One of the dac biets (house specials) is an amazing whole whitefish presented sizzling on a cast-iron pan, i...