This past Saturday was particularly cold for San Diego standards. I was completely bundled up but when the wind blew, I felt like I wasn’t wearing anything. Hot noodle soup sounded perfect for the chilly conditions.

Mien Trung is a small Vietnamese restaurant, located next to Sushi diner and around the corner from K Sandwiches. The small space and worn sign makes it hard to spot.

Unlike the usual Vietnamese places that I have visited in the past, Mien Trung does not serve pho, but instead serves various Bún (rice vermicelli) dishes. I’ve been wanting to expand my experience with Vietnamese cuisine for a while and after some good posts on Mien Trung from mmm-yoso and A Radiused Corner, along with a recommendation from my friend Steve, I knew this would be a good place to check out.

I originally was there to try the Bun Bo Hue, which is a beef noodle soup. However, once I arrived and perused the menu, there were so many other broths and ingredients available. We decided to all get something different.

BF ordered the Bun Bo Hue

There was a lot of chili oil in the broth though you can’t really tell from the picture, and it made things a little too spicy for him. I thought it was on the spicy side as well, but I really enjoyed the lemongrass flavor and the richness of the broth.

I ordered the Bun Mang Vit, which is rice vermicelli soup with duck and bamboo shoots. The broth did not taste the same as the bun bo hue, but it was enjoyable. I liked that it arrived piping hot. I was pleasantly surprised that there were quite a few pieces of duck, though the ducks seemed to have been cooked too long because it didn’t have much flavor. The bamboo was a little tough and dry.

Baby Bro ordered a Bun Rieu, which has a crab flavored broth. I could definitely taste the crab flavor in the broth and I think I will try this next time.

A large plate of shredded cabbage was given to us to be added to the noodle soups.

Baby Bro’s GF ordered a dry bun dish with eggrolls and bbq pork. Her bowl consisted of some raw vegetables, topped with cooked vermicelli noodles and bbq pork and eggrolls cut up. I’m not a big fan of the dry bun dishes. I always think it’s weird that there isn’t any flavor in the noodles. I guess you are supposed to treat eating the plain noodles like eating rice.

We also got an order of eggrolls because I always want to try the eggrolls.

The skin of these eggrolls was very thick and slightly sweet. I don’t particularly like this type of egg roll skin.

We also got the steamed rice cake with shrimp and meatball.

The little rice cake pancakes are topped with shredded dried shrimp. There were also a few slices of the vietnamese meat loaf. The rice cakes by themselves did not have any flavor, but when dipped in the fish sauce, they were pretty tasty.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience here. The hot soup was perfect on such a chilly day. The prices were quite reasonable. We will be back to try more dishes. The place is pretty tiny though so it’s not great for a large crowd.

Here is the menu:

Mien Trung
7530 Mesa College Dr Ste A
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 576-0962
Mien Trung on Urbanspoon


13 Responses to “Mien Trung”

  1. snippets of thyme — March 3, 2011 at 5:12 am

    We love Vietnamese food! Those round flat rice cakes look very interesting. I have never tried those. We can’t go for very many weeks before we need a huge bowl of Vietnamese soup.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 3rd, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

      This was my first experience with the rice cakes too. We have pho at least once a month. My brothers are always asking for it.

  2. Sandy — March 3, 2011 at 10:07 am

    The bun dish usually comes with the nuoc mam (fish sauce) on the side, similar to the one that came with your order of egg rolls. I always think of bun dishes as a noodle salad where the sauce is the dressing.

    I tend to order the bun with egg rolls when it’s warm outside. It sure was cold over the weekend!

    • Kirbie replied: — March 3rd, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

      Yeah it came with the sauce, but I think there wasn’t enough sauce to properly add flavor to everything because there was such a huge amount of noodles and cabbage. It was freezing!! Too bad we didn’t get the snow though

  3. Faye — March 3, 2011 at 10:32 am

    The Bun Bo Hue looks really nice. What kind of noodle is in that? I’ve never seen that in Vietnamese soup. Looks like Taiwanese style noodles.

    Do you think this place is worth the drive (it would be about 25 min i think for me?).

    How was the filling inside the eggrolls?

    • Kirbie replied: — March 3rd, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

      I don’t know what kind of noodle that is. It was fatter than the noodles used for the other broths. Hmm, I don’t know if I’d drive 25 minutes to go there. However, if you are in the area, shopping at Convoy, it’s only about 5 minutes away. The easiest way is to keep going down Convoy, until it turns into Linda Vista. Faster than hopping on the freeway at Convoy area.
      The filling for the eggrolls was about the same as other places. It tasted fine, I just couldn’t get over the sweet wrapper.

  4. Ghetto Gourmet — March 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    A vinegar based dressing/sauce is suppose to come with the dry bun dish. It is meant for the diner to pour all over the bun and mix everything together.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 3rd, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

      I think the problem was there was way too many noodles and salad compared to the amount of dressing.

  5. Kirk — March 3, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Hey Kirbie – I’m glad you finally made it to Mien Trung. Bun Mang Vit is not their strong point. I’d suggest Chinese Kitchen for that. I do think they make a good Banh Bot Loc, I think it’s better then the Banh Beo.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 3rd, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

      I was considering the banh bot loc. I will try that next time. They have the banh beo featured with a picture on their menu, so I figured it should be good.

  6. Cliff — March 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Crab broth vermicelli….delicious….

  7. Dennis — March 3, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Kirbie, I’ve been meaning to return and try more dishes here. Thanks for the reminder! Cheers

    • Kirbie replied: — March 4th, 2011 @ 10:08 am

      I want to go back and try some more stuff too.

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