Garlic & Chives

9892 Westminster Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92844
714-591-5196
Critics' Pick
Garlic & Chives

Jennifer Fedrizzi

Details

  • Open Sun.-Tues. & Thurs., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • $$; $$$
  • Dinner, Lunch
  • Beer/Wine
Garlic & Chives is a Vietnamese restaurant in Garden Grove. Its menu is expansive, focused on no particular specialty and billed as “Gourmet Asian Fusion.” You can have porridge, follow it with a sizzling skillet of steak and eggs, then twirl up garlic butter noodles akin to the kind Beverly Hill’s Crustacean serves to celebrities. Perhaps the best evidence that Garlic & Chives is just cooking whatever the hell it wants (and it's really good at it) is the version of corn cheese it serves bubbling on a hot plate -- a dish that’s usually only found in Korean District drinking establishments on the other side of the 22 freeway. And then there are the chicken wings it calls “Holy Crunchy Chicken,” which tastes as though it uses both Korean gochujang and Vietnamese fish sauce in its sticky-spicy glaze. About the only predictable constant at Garlic & Chives is the garlic, which it uses prodigiously. The garlic adorns the salmon-belly dish, already perfect in its own right, but further elevated by it. But it’s in the lightly floured, crisp-fried curls of fish that the restaurant has introduced the most inspired salmon dish in all of OC. You don’t eat this dish; you experience it with wide-eyed disbelief that salmon could melt so readily in your mouth as if it were ice cream.

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