Brodard Restaurant

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It seems to be the general consensus among many that the nem nuong cuon (pork spring rolls) are to die for here.  That amongst a couple other dishes seem to draw a huge crowd.  This place has a ridiculous wait.  Just to give you a better picture - this is how many people showed up at 9:30a and even more people were waiting when I was leaving! 
The spring rolls here are so popular they have a nonstop assembly line wrapping them and even with that I still had to wait 20 minutes for mine!
I've seen macarons sold at other Vietnamese shops before, but I've often ignore it.  I read somewhere that Brodard's macarons were superior to that of Laduree in Paris, where they actually wowed me, so I figured I had to pick some up and do a taste test.
For $1.25 each, they offer 12 flavors of macarons here (not in order): coconut, salted caramel, pistachio, durian, taro, hazelnut, chocolate, raspberry, coffee, lemon, orange, mango-passionfruit.  They are pretty good, definitely one of the better ones that I've had, but not even close to the league of Laduree's.  The outside is chewy and the creme is very flavorful with a true showcase of each of the flavors.  Laduree's has a light crisp crust when you bite into it then it has a soft chewiness.  
My favorite flavor of the bunch was salted caramel ( I should have bought more!) and the worst is durian, not that the durian one was bad tasting, more like it actually tasted like durian, which I dislike.
The chao tom cuon (shrimp spring rolls) is rolled with a dense shrimp cake, cucumbers, lettuce, carrot, daikon, mint, and cilantro.  I preferred this one over their original nem nuong cuon.  The shrimp was flavorful and had a nice springy texture and the sweetness of their house sauce complimented well with the sweetness from the shrimp.

Nem chua cuon is cured beef wrapped with cucumbers, cilantro, carrot, and mint.  The cured beef gives this roll a very sour and somewhat pungent taste.  Nem chua isn't one of my favorite Vietnamese meats, but the meat was pretty flavorful with a solid sour kick.

The infamous nem nuong cuon (pork rolls).  Although these are professionally wrapped and not sloppily made by yours truly, I still prefer the ones at Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa (see post HERE).  I prefer mine to have a more standout crispy bit and more crunchy texture, usually from the pickled vegetables I add myself at Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa.  Also, the meat doesn't seem as flavorful as Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa's.  Still it is good if you haven't had Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa's.

I was kind of surprised they gave nuoc mam (fish sauce) with all the rolls in addition to their famous house sauce.  The nuoc mam here is more on the very sweet side and even though it has some chili flakes, it doesn't have much heat.

The nem nuong sauce at Brodards by far superior to that of Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa (sorry, sis).  Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa's is a little flat tasting, while Brodard's secret sauce has more depth of flavors.  I liked how they put a lot of chunks of garlic in the sauce.  

Address:                  Brodard Restaurant
                                 9892 Westminister Ave.
                                 Garden Grove, CA 
Type:                       Vietnamese

Popular chomps:      nem nuong cuon
                                 bun bo hue
                                 bo luc lac (shaken beef)
Chomp worthy:        macarons
                                 nem nuong cuon

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