Foodies, families love Little Saigon Market

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BY COLLEEN JANSSEN: What do grilled pork-on-a-stick, squid, and coconut waffles have in common? They are just a few of the delicious treats found at the Little Saigon Night Market in Westminster.

The event is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 7 to 11 p.m., through Sept. 3, in front of the Asian Garden Mall, 9200 Bolsa Ave. Rows of booths filled with food, toys, shoes, clothing, housewares, and even bone marrow registry information await the crowds that come to enjoy some family fun.

BY COLLEEN JANSSEN: What do grilled pork-on-a-stick, squid, and coconut waffles have in common? They are just a few of the delicious treats found at the Little Saigon Night Market in Westminster.

The event is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 7 to 11 p.m., through Sept. 3, in front of the Asian Garden Mall, 9200 Bolsa Ave. Rows of booths filled with food, toys, shoes, clothing, housewares, and even bone marrow registry information await the crowds that come to enjoy some family fun.

Last Friday night, families were seen dancing to the music of Family Band, while others shopped and sampled prawns, lobster, corn-on-the-cob, BBQ, coconut-covered bananas, and other exotic foods.

Some of the booths were run by businesses who have a store in the Asian Garden Mall, while others are from Westminster and surrounding communities. Two food trucks offered special drinks and food.

“The Asian Garden Mall opened in 1987,” said Kathy Buchoz with Bridgecreek, the mall management group. “We manage the mall and surrounding area properties. The mall is 150,000 square feet and has 250 mostly family-owned businesses. They are all Asian-owned. We are well-known for our jewelry stores.”

“We get food bloggers here for the Little Saigon Night Market,” said Buchoz. “We even have some special nights that the food bloggers come and enjoy the food. This place is popular with them.”

Outside the mall, at the market, vendors were busy helping hundreds of people who waited patiently for freshly-made food and drinks. The band played Vietnamese music, and while some people sat and listened, others danced and celebrated the beautiful summer night.

“This is very fun,” said Sheila Cheung. She and her husband, Alan Cheung, have a booth called The Gift Shoppe. Their mall store has been open since 1988 and they have an outdoor market booth during the summer.

“This is our first year offering food,” said Cheung. “We enjoy this and really appreciate that the mall has activities for tourists.” Her booth offered tasty dried squid and juicy grilled pork-on-a-stick.

For those wishing to find a nice gift item, Kháng Diệp Calligraphy has banners, key chains, Vietnamese conical bamboo palm leaf nón lá hats and more. Items could be purchased from Diệp, or brought to the booth for custom while-you-wait Vietnamese calligraphy.

A bonsai booth had shelves filled with beautiful plants. Bright pink bougainvillea plants in the same booth added a colorful punch of color to the booth.

“This is our first time here,” said Phuong Nguyen, dressed in a beautiful traditional Vietnamese dress. She was attending the event with her husband Andy and 6-month-old daughter, Zoe.

“We are on vacation from El Paso, Texas and saw the mall and came to go shopping,” adde Phuong. “When we got here, we found this market.” The Nguyen family was spending the next day at Disneyland.

The family had stopped to listen to Saffire Trüong, 10, sing while her friends swayed and danced on stage. Baby Zoe seemed perfectly content listening to music from her stroller.

Residents and tourists are welcome to stop by the Little Saigon Night Market and the Asian Garden Mall. Be sure to bring your appetite for some excellent food and drink.

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