Cho Tam Bien is a Vietnamse restaurant in Westminster. Here is one of Little Saigon’s better delis, a place where you can sit and eat cheap or take any of the packaged, frozen or dried goods to go. There's even a deli case with whole pig’s legs pointing up, ready for someone to take them home. The lemongrass sausage comes with a bowl of mam ruoc, the fermented shrimp paste that tastes like salty lightning and smells like sweat. Wrap slices of the sausage with mint leaves, then dip them in the mam ruoc--fresh, pungent, perfect.
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Last month, I went on a Little Saigon run with Dee Nguyen of Break of Dawn, perhaps the most underrated restaurant in OC not named Anepalco's or Old Vine Café. We started at Cho Tam Bien on a Monday morning—me with three hours of sl...