Com Tam Thien Huong, San Jose

Got some takeout from Com Tam Thien Huong on Senter Road from San Jose today. Their menu is divided into mostly the pho and com tam sections. I got:

^^^ Nem nuong cuon- grilled pork roll

^^^ Com tam 1: Thit nuong, Tau hu ky- Broken rice with bbq pork, fried shrimp cake

^^^ Com tam 2: Bi, Cha, Chao tom- Broken rice with shredded pork skin, egg cake, grilled shrimp on sugarcane

The broken rice section basically is a variety of combinations of a few components, like bbq pork and egg cake. Of all the choices I got, the fried shrimp cake and the egg cake stood out for me. The egg cake has some tofu, wood ear, minced pork, and cellophane noodles with a very thin layer of egg on top. its a bit similar to the fake chicken from Chùa Giác Minh except obviously its not vegetarian. The fried shrimp cake was also quite good, and its better than the grilled shrimp on sugarcane.

The shrimp with sugarcane was interesting to me as I could eat the shrimp cake wrapped around the sugarcane then chew on the sugarcane to get the cane juice out. (Yes you’ll have to spit out the cane fibers afterwards).

^^^ The grilled pork roll was fresh and delicious when eaten with the accompanying chili sauce and fish sauce.

Good option for com tam in San Jose, and good value at ~$30 for two.

2859 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA 95111

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Have you tried Com Tam Dat Thanh? If so how did it compare vs Thien Huong? I have not been to either but curious because the name Dat Thanh comes up quite a lot for com tam.

I have not tried Dat Thanh. I’d be interested to hear comparisons.

Also, they are opening up a shop in Sacramento:

Com Tam Dat Thanh is good, and their strengths are a little bit different versus Thien Huong. I think they cook at a similar level that I am happy to eat at either one of them. Most of the menu items are com tam and they offer little else. The com tam sections offer almost every possible mathematical combination of the accompanying items along with rice.

The items we had that came with the rice:

bbq pork
bbq beef
fried shrimp cake
shredded pork skin
egg cake
grilled shrimp on sugarcane
bbq shrimp

I liked the BBQ pork and fried shrimp cake the most. The BBQ pork was grilled and had a delightful smokey aroma. The fried shrimp cake went very well with the accompanying fish sauce. The cake was made with the layers of deep fried savory bean curd wrapped around a shrimp paste core. The other items were ok but didn’t stand out for me versus these two.

Their egg rolls, which we ordered separately from the com tams, were delightful. Unlike many egg rolls out there, the fried exterior was crinkly, and crispy/ brittle in a different way than a typical egg roll’s exterior shattering into flat pieces when bitten into. At $1.5 a roll its not cheap but its well worth the price.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold