With nearly 100,000 followers on Instagram, Garden Grove resident and noodle enthusiast Connie (Bang-Co) Aboubakare showcases the vibrant Vietnamese food scene in Little Saigon and beyond.
What are your favorite spots for noodles in Little Saigon?
Brodard Restaurant is my go-to place because it’s convenient and the food is very consistent. I also like Mi La Cay on Bolsa Avenue, Hong Mai, Brodard Chateau, Ngu Binh, Quan Hop, Pho Ga Hai Van, and Pho 45 (Garden Grove).
Why do you think noodles are so universally beloved?
I think it’s comfort food, but it’s also economical. Noodles are just dough and water and you don’t necessarily have to incorporate protein. Like in Italian cuisine, you can just add butter. I’ve grown up with noodles, and I can eat noodles in all kinds of weather.
What are some of your favorite noodle dishes to make at home?
Chicken pho, egg noodle soup, or Vietnamese udon noodles. My family loves bun bo hue (spicy beef noodle soup) and always asks for it, especially in the winter.
What made you start your Instagram account @occomestibles?
I went on a medical mission trip to Vietnam, and my son was the videographer-photographer. After the trip, I saw the photos that my son took and I said, “Wow, these are amazing. I want to learn.” The first year, I carried my camera into every restaurant.
What do you love most about Garden Grove?
I love both the Korean and Vietnamese food here. The noodles in Vietnam are not as good as the noodles here. I think the quality is a lot better.
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