In the past few years, Vietnamese food has gained a whole lot of popularity throughout Southern California. Pho joints have popped up all over the place, and if you haven't tried pho yet (Vietnamese noodle soup) then get your butt outta the house and get some.
Carson is known more for Filipino food than any other type of cuisine, but there are at least three small Vietnamese restaurants in town. The newest (about a year old or so) and the one with the most pleasing decor is Blue Lotus, at the corner of Carson Street and Main Street. The building used to be a Del Taco fast food joint, but it's been reworked and upgraded into Blue Lotus. Dark wood tables, richly colored walls and a custom-built waterfall near the entrance gives Blue Lotus a step up in ambience over the typical pho joint, making it acceptable for a casual date or a business lunch, and the food is pretty yummy.
Above is a dish of grilled chicken with vermicelli and an egg roll (bun ga nuong cha gio) along with a glass of iced coffee. Their iced coffee is not the sweet Thai iced coffee you might be used to. It looks similar, but is stronger and only a little sweet. It definitely has more balls than the Thai stuff. Below are Blue Lotus' house special rice (com dac biet 5 mon) and a more Chinese than Vietnamese combination crispy chow mein (mi xao don tham cam).
Blue Lotus can be found at 21705 Main Street in Carson. They're open every day from 10am to 10pm, and there's nothing on the menu over $9.50.