Hoa Xuan Vegetarian Restaurant

Peninsula and South Bay, California

Reviews


rating star

This hole in the wall is one of Grand Century Plaza's best kept secrets. I wandered through the mall plenty of times without even noticing Hoa Xuan. For what it is, the deli-restaurant does a really fine job. There's a deli case of flavorful and authentic-tasting Vietnamese vegetarian classics, various familiar tofu dishes, and don't miss the tasty veggie fish slices. As is typical of the vegetarian Vietnamese places in the South Bay the prices are ridiculously low and the flavors assertive. You can feed a family of four on Hoa Xuan takeout for under $20 and have leftovers.

Better yet, if you speak Vietnamese or want a little communication challenge as an appetizer you can try ordering something from the kitchen. Odds are good the person you're ordering from doesn't understand English, but it's worth the effort to make some understanding happen because the fresh dishes are truly memorable. Say "Huh?" and throw an "F" sound in front of it and you'll hopefully end up being served some tasty and again remarkably authentically flavored vegan soup, complete with a side plate of fresh basil, sprouts, lime and sliced hot peppers you get to drop into the broth yourself. Most of the hot dishes I've ordered are excellent.

The staff are usually friendly and charming despite the language barrier. Sometimes there's a person at the register whose English fluency is high.

Tables spill out of their tiny delifront into the hall of the mall and the larger food court dining area, nothing romantic or quiet about the setting. The food is good enough that it seems not to belong in such a place and is crying out for a real restaurant space.

My only issue with the food is that, typical of this cuisine, it tends to be pretty salty and sweet, sometimes excessively so. Most dishes have a relatively rich palette of captivating and strong underlying flavors though, and are certainly a cut above most salty and sweet Asian fare.

This is the best of the bargain Vietnamese veggie houses I've come across in the South Bay so far, Dong Phuong Tofu and Di Lac being not far behind.

Write your review