Welcome to a new feature on our blog called 100 Favorite Dishes, where we countdown, um, 100 of our favorite dishes. That's right, starting now and for every day for the next 100 (week)days we will rehash all our favorite dishes. Simple as that. And if we did the math right, it should end at exactly the time that our annual Best Of Issue comes out. See what we did there? Genius, if we do say so ourselves.
#99. Nem Nuong Cuon at Brodard
This is the one item that has seeded Brodard's success and the reason there's always a line to get a table. The nem nuong cuon is a spring roll to end all spring rolls. Inside a wetted cylinder of rice paper hides lettuce, a slender piece of deep fried egg roll skin, cucumber, and nem nuong, a ruddy concoction made of pork or shrimp which isn't quite a sausage and not really SPAM, but a combo of the two.
Anyone can attempt to construct a nem nuong cuon. Brodard isn't the only place that does it. But only Brodard can make the sauce that makes it sing. Halfway between soup and dip, what's in it is a mystery. It's possibly the most guarded secret recipe in all of Little Saigon, perhaps OC. For sure there's garlic, a little chili paste, maybe sugar. If you know, share it. We, however, cannot guarantee your safety.
Brodard Restaurant, 9892 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, CA 92844, (714) 530-1744, www.brodard.net
The List so far: