Restaurant: Oc & Lau Restaurant [1, 2, 3]
Location: 10130 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843. (714) 636-2000 and 9892 Westminster Blvd Unit R, Garden Grove, CA 92844. (714) 583-8100
Date: July 31 & September 29, 2019 & February 19, 2020 & July 20, 2021 & February 15, 2022
I had high expectations for Oc & Lau too, as it was purported to be in the league of Garlic and Chives. I’ve visited 3 times now, twice during a various Oc Viet crawls, here and here. Then again for a pre-Birthday Dinner “snack lunch“. This post combines all the dishes.
The exterior of location 1, just down the block from Garlic and Chives — there are two locations — the other is right behind G&C in the same minimall.
Interior of location 1.
Interior of location 2 — much bigger than 1.
Ruinart never sucks.
Pineapple Smoothie (2/15/22).
Tiny oysters on the half-shell with fish eggs and Vietnamese cocktail sauce (2/20). Very bright and tasty. Tiny bites though.
Crispy Spring Rolls (2/15/22).
Frog legs (Ech Chien Bo) (7/19). Fried frog legs. Excellent!
Fried quail (Chim Cut Rotti) (7/19 & 9/19 & 2/20). Much like the Chinese style quail. Great!
Garlic butter queen clams (Nghieu Hoang Hau Chay Toi) (7/19 & 2/20). Super delicious hot, buttery clam bits.
Scallop with Roe.
Creamy coconut periwinkle escargot (Oc Gao Dua) (7/19). This sauce was a 10, rich with curry coconut flavor, but I messed up and got the tiny winkle snails which are impossible to eat. About 1 in 3 times you can pry one out (with some challenge) using the toothpick. Bummer. I just sucked the sauce.
Coconut Swirly Escargot (Oc Len Xao Dua) (9/19). After ordering the wrong snails last time I got it right this time — with the conical Vietnamese kind and the slightly sweet curry sauce. This sauce is amazing.
You have to suck the meat out of these little cones.
Tamarind Lobster (Tom Hum Range Me) (7/19). The sauce was too sweet — tangy sweet — but very sweet. Nice lobster though. We would have ordered with a different sauce.
Shrimp. Sauce was kinda rich.
Fried Soft-shell Crab with Tamarind Sauce. A bit too goopy and sweet.
Singapore Chili Crab (7/20/21). Not 100% Singapore in style, but this was still one of the best Chili crabs I’ve had in LA. This is an incredible but very hard to find dish. There was a ton of crabmeat in the sauce — none left in the crab.
French bread to dip in the crab sauce.
Filet Mignon with udon (Bo Filet Xao Udon) (7/19). Very tasty beef with onions and great thick udon noodles.
Weird purple yam and sticky milk free dessert. Oddly addictive.
The check on the 9/20 visit.
Overall, I’ve been to Oc & Lau three times and it’s always been great. They seem to really rock the fresh seafood with “seasonings” like the clams and oysters above. The coconut snails were great and the quail is amazing. It’s totally worthy of a dedicated dinner but so far I’ve only been there for crawl mini-visits.
In 2021 I tried to arrange a dinner here but they have certain issues which make it impossible. They REFUSE to take any kind of reservation, so the wait required to get a large party at dinner time would be unacceptable, they don’t reliably allow corkage, and they also refuse to reserve crabs etc and frequently run out. It’s just not practical to wing a dinner down to Orange County.