Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the L.A. Times.
A recent addition to the Orange County food scene is Garlic and Chives by Kristin, a restaurant with a name that says it all. Located in the heart of Little Saigon, Garlic and Chives isn’t about your standard bowl of phở or bún dishes. Owner Kristin Nguyen takes Vietnamese fare to the next level with her small-plates restaurant that will leave you wanting to try everything.
What to order? Seriously, what shouldn’t you order. Start with the grilled scallops and pomelo salad before working your way up to the garlicky fried crab, cast-iron skillet sticky rice and spicy toothpick lamb.
Where it is: 9892 Westminster Boulevard, #311, Garden Grove, CA 92844 (714-591-5196)
Pro-tip: Bring family and/or friends so that you can sample everything, but expect to wait for a table. Don’t fret—85ºC Bakery is next door, so you can get yourself a snack while you wait.