Orange Coast Magazine

Taste of O.C. | Priscilla Mayfield on food

 

Wanting to continue our ongoing survey of nem nuong, the spring roll Katherine Nguyen wrote about in Orange Coast, I searched for the Vietnamese restaurant nearest Trabuco Canyon and turned up Eleven46 Kitchen in Foothill Ranch. Convenient! I love that Viet places are continuing to sprout outside of Little Saigon—especially when they come closer to me.

Eleven46’s nem nuong were excellent, with tender sausage and a different take on the necessary fried eggroll-wrapper element. Rather than a plain strip, the pastry sheet was coiled around a scallion and fried, making a crispy tube about the diameter of a boba tea straw that added a lot of interest rolled up in the rice paper with sausage and lettuce and herbs—and of course texture is a big part of the nem nuong story. Nem nuong, and a variety of other rolls including egg rolls with an especially good dipping sauce, are $4.95 for three.

Waiting for our rolls, a customer sipping Vietnamese coffee told us we had to get beignets—he was there that morning at his daughter’s request to take several orders home for her birthday sleepover guests. The young lady behind the counter said it’ll be just a minute: her Mom, owner Le Cao, was rolling them out. At least we knew they’d be fresh, right? Cao was inspired by the classic beignets of New Orleans, working on hers for three years to get the fluffiness she wanted.

It wasn’t long before we got our own light-gold, palm-sized pillows. Cao nailed the fluffiness—the squares were soft, but with structural integrity. Be warned that the menu is SO not exaggerating the “heavily dusted with powdered sugar”—drifting white clouds are a minor hazard of beignet eating. A three-piece order is $2.50.

In addition to its regular menu of Viet specialties, including banh mi on baked-there bread, 7-month-old Eleven46 serves pho on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Eleven46 Kitchen, 45 Auto Center Drive, Foothill Ranch, 949-215-1146



Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here.

OC Guides

Guides

OC Guides
  • Best of 2014: Nutty Brûlée

    No one can resist breaking into the sugary crust of crème brûlée, and this one packs an extra surprise with its abundance of silky-smooth chocolate-hazelnut custard below—thanks to the addition of Nutella. This sinful dessert is incredibly rich and best shared with a friend. $8
    704 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, 949‑673‑7173, theslidingdoorcafe.com

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Honey Bee Chicken

    You’ll fall in lust with the chicken pieces at BBQ Chicken at Diamond Jamboree in Irvine. Fried in olive oil for a crunchy exterior, they’re tossed in a sweet honey sauce making them all the more delicious. $11 to $21

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: New York Pizza

    Seal Beach’s A Slice of New York makes pizza the way it’s supposed to be—with a thin, chewy crust that oozes cheese and can be enjoyed the New Yawker way: folded in half.
    142 Main St., 562-493-4430, asliceofnewyorkpizza.net

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Bird-Watching

    When the throngs of beachgoers are too much, spend a day with the birds. Here, with the wind whipping off the ocean and herons, egrets, ducks, and more soaring above, you'll get a chance to be the amateur ornithologist you never knew you wanted to be. Free
    3842 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach, 714-846-1114, bolsachica.org

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Green Cleaners

    Sold from her website and a refitted retro travel trailer, these earth-safe cleaning products are Marilyn Nowak of Coto de Caza's propriety formulas. Products for laundry, surfaces such as glass and wood - even an ecological drain cleaner - all have dispenser bottles and bulk refills $8 to $48
    Resuming in September at Great Park Farmer's Market, Sand Canyon Avenue and Marine Way, Irvine, 949-292-1648, lilgreenwagon.com

    Read More
 
 
wine blog
 

stuff we love

Charitable Events Calendar