Huynh Hoa Tuu
4660 El Cajon Blvd.
I needed to go to the Asian market to pick up some vegetables and beef tendon. While out, I decided to get some lunch on El Cajon Blvd. My first choice, which was next to the market didn't work out so I drove down the street and remembered the funny named restaurant near one of my sandwich shops (A-Chau). The name of the restaurant escapes me right now, but I want to say it was something like O-yea. I remembered it because when we parked in front of it one day, I noticed their menu was written all over the window. I had always wanted to try it for fun. To my surprise it was now a different restaurant.
As we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by a nice gentleman. I think you are suppose to seat yourself and then the host/server brings menus and water to your table. I picked a booth. The restaurant itself was not 'brand new' inside. The tables were clean. No sticky booth seats or table tops. There were several flat screen televisions on the walls playing the Eagles game. There were only 2 other tables occupied when we first arrived but then business picked up during the middle of our meal.
As for the food, I wanted to try dishes I have never ordered before. The server was very nice and gave a few recommendations. We will be back to try the other dishes. His friendliness and polite manner was enough to get me to return again. We started off with the fresh rolls filled with bbq pork meat, vermicelli noodle, lettuce, and mint. It was served with a very tasty dipping sauce. The sauce was topped with peanuts and fried shallots.
Here is an inside picture of the fresh rolls.
Next we ordered the Crab noodle soup. I don't remember the names of the dishes. And I didn't see a take out menu to grab. This soup was wonderful. I loved the crab/seafood flavors, just the right amount of seasoning. The broth was thick (sort of like hot and sour soup). It had crab claw meat, straw mushroom, some kind of deep fried tofu/seafood, thick rice noodles and it was topped with green onion and more fried shallots.
The last dish was braised beef short ribs. This dish tasted like something my mom would cook for us when I was a kid. I think it was cooked with ginger, other than that I can't say what was used to season it with. I was expecting the meat to be more 'fall off the bones'. It was a little bit chewy. We ordered steamed rice to go with this dish. I thought it was a lot of food for $23 and we didn't even finish all of the soup, even though that was our favorite dish.
I will go back again to try more new dishes. I want to try the claypot dishes and the rice paper dishes. There is a private lot in the back, but we parked out on the street. There was a unisex bathroom (I think). I didn't look too closely at the menu but it seemed their prices for entrees ranged from $6.99-8.99 and there were whole sections of the menu that were $15 or $25.