[San Jose] Mì Quảng Cô Thảo- the very good mi quang ga

We had an unplanned dentist appointment in the area during the weekend and needed to find something easy to eat afterwards. Mi Quang Co Thao fits the bill so we headed there for a late lunch afterwards.

Mi Quang was located in a commercial/ industrial area near the airport, so it was pretty quiet during the weekend after the lunch rush. We asked the server for recommendations. In general he’s not particularly helpful but since the place is called Mi Quang I had to get some mi quang. Among the different choices, he recommended the mi quang ga. And what a good choice that was.

The tumeric noodle itself was unflavored and came on a banana leaf. The stewed chicken and the sauce was wonderfully seasoned. It had this cool slightly herbal flavor that those who are more familiar with Vietnamese spices can most likely identify. But stir the noodle into the sauce and into the mouth, and it was great. Its a different style of mi quang compared to the other mi quang at Temple Club I had in the last few months, but its delicious here as well, in a different way. The dish came with banana blossom and bean sprouts, and there was a chili paste on the side that was extremely spicy.

Between the bun bo hue and the blackboard special bun rieu, the server seemed to prefer bun rieu more. So bun rieu it was. I am not a bun rieu expert but this version was pretty sweet in the broth from tomato, crab paste and probably sugar, with some delicious mashed crab balls that was the highlight of the noodle. The rest of the noodle was I think just ok. I could munch on those crab balls all day long. The mint on the herb plate was a little tired.

Mien ga. Range chicken glass noodle soup for the kid who preferred the familiar. Chicken was pretty flavorful. Broth was pretty nice.

Dining room. Blackboard special on the right side of the picture:

We were told at night there’s some sort of dancing and singing, and maybe karaoke? Hence the stage, the drums, guitars, etc. (I don’t understand everything they said.) Would return for sure for the mi quang when we are in the area.



Tired of eating from the same 3 joints around home so ventured further this weekend. Got some takeouts from Mi Quang Co Thao.

Mi quang ga, great as last time. Just dump the noodle, the chili, the peanuts, lime, basil, lettuce, banana blossom, chicken and the chicken gravy together. Delicious.

Mi quang tom thit- shrimp and pork. Pork are slices of a type of roasted meat, looks like pork belly. Shrimp is sauced dried shrimp, pretty good. But the chicken mi quang still takes the crown.

They don’t have mi cao lau, so we got the mien ga- chicken glass noodle.

I didn’t notice their party menu last time I was at the restaurant. Looks like lots of less commonly found dishes on that menu. Too bad these days there aren’t any indoor parties. But would love to try them. Mudskippers! Snails! Jackfruit! Clams with kumquat sauce! Yum. We should get a meal together when COVID passes. Oxail au vin? is that a French-influenced dish?

Special boards. Also lots of interesting dishes:

Dau Nhat Hap. Looks like some sort of tofu dish:

Goi ca salmon: salmon salad?

be thui tai chanh: what’s that?

ruot heo chien gion: some sort of intestines?

lau ca that lat: some sort of hot pot

sach bo xao sate: what’s that?

Cá Chình xào lăn: is it some sort of breaded fish? https://cathuonghang.com/mon-ngon-tu-ca/37-ca-chinh-xao-lan.html

ca chinh xao xa ot: what’s that?

ngheu hap xa: looks like some sort of clam dish

Some additional menu pages with banh uots and com:

They really like their Mi Quang that they have a whole wall decoration just for that: