West LA: Bun Bo Hue at Nong La

bun bo hue

bun bo hue


It’s been a few years since I last visited Nong La. With all the new restaurants popping up on on Sawtelle Boulevard* in West Los Angeles, it’s hard to revisit favorites especially if you’re not in the area much. Still, after checking out the wait times around that block, we thought waiting 15 minutes sounded reasonable for Nong La.

I was going to get pho but the bun bo hue caught my eye. I had completely forgotten I’ve had this before and always meant to try something else at Nong La but the server convinced me it was more interesting than pho. The spicy beef soup with pork meat patties sounded really warming on a cool evening.

I did ask how spicy it was going to be. The server who said she couldn’t handle much spice herself described it as the pleasure from eating spicy hot cheetos. Okay, bring it on. It turned out it was spicy but not overly so. I suppose it’s gotten less spicy since 4 years ago. Or maybe I can handle my spice better. Also, with a couple of squeezes of lime, the broth was tamed. I really loved the pork patties with whole black peppercorns. The beef slices were smaller pieces but there was plenty of it. It was a good noodle bowl.

egg rolls

egg rolls


We actually got our egg rolls after our soups since the kitchen was slammed. I was surprised how small these were. At $6.95 for 5 of them, it’s not a really great deal. I’ll look for another appetizer to share next time.


Nong La Cafe

2055 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025 — (310) 268-1881
© The Minty 2016


**Informal poll:

What do you call Sawtelle Boulevard?

  • Sawtelle
  • Little Osaka
  • Sawtelle Japantown
  • Japantown West