Seems like every corner of our little Bolsa enclave has been sprouting up Tapas-style Asian fusion cuisine where sharing is caring and hour-long wait times on a Monday night are more common than not.

Garlic and Chives has been open for a few months, but it’s slowly creeping up on everyone’s top newbie hit list.

Garlic and Chives

9892 Westminster Ave. | Garden Grove, CA 92844  | (714) 591-5196

The Vibe

While I regularly crave Vietnamese food over ANY other type of cuisine I gotta admit, Garlic and Chives is just another regular dining spot that wholly benefits from being located in Westminster/Garden Grove’s most popular street corner (you can thank Brodard for this). I’m sorry but every single dish (save for the salmon belly) tastes like everywhere else in Bolsa except they use TONS more whole garlic bits and they can actually boast SPECTACULAR customer service, unheard of in these parts foreals!

On the Menu

Crunchy Garlic Butter Chicken Wings 

Both styles (featured wings and above) maintained their crunchy texture from the first bite to the last so I will give them an A+ for execution, but if you’re looking for more spicy/sweet flavors, Holy Crunchy’s the one for you.

 

Spicy Garlic Toothpick Lamb

Beautifully presented with a colorful palette but what’s missing from this staple drinking nhau dish is the flavor. While the lamb has been simply seasoned (salt/pepper), what I’m missing is the ingredient that would take this dish to another level. It just tastes like it’s been deep fried. How boring. Get it for the novelty but I highly doubt you’ll be craving this once it’s dunzo.

Garlic Butter Salmon Belly

Easily the MUST-ORDER dish of the entire menu. I love salmon belly sashimi so deep fry that sucker and I am in lalalalLOVE! The high amount of fatty protein makes this perfect to flour and fry, retaining all the yummy flavors while featuring a bouncy crunch with every bite. Beautiful dish!

Baked Corn Cheese

Nothing compared to the K-bar variety. Bland- pass!

Salmon Belly Rolls

I had to order this to see what’s different and new about a Vietnamese summer staple. It was quite dry compared to the garlic butter salmon belly, so I’ve deducted that NO ONE orders this dish so the fish was probably old. Bleh!

Shaking Filet Mignon with Whole Garlic

I can name you 5 other restaurants in Bolsa that make Bo Luc Lac WAYYYYYY better. Cubed meat is stingy/ small/ veggies aren’t even pickled. Pass!

Kristin’s Famous Roasted Garlic Crab

I ordered the full size crab, they split it into 2 plates/ $50 per crab- highway robbery and total EPIC FAIL. Tastes like it looks- garlicky and that’s about it. Laaaame!

Baked Clams with Garlic and Chives

Small, chewy, dry. Pass!

Tom Yum Hot Pot

I’m sure y’all can tell by now I just wasn’t a fan of the food. This Tom Yum soup took me over the edge. While I expected tangy/ spicy Thai flavors, I was met with a large pot of murky brown water and thick tamarind sauce on the side. Who needs sauce when the flavors should be boiling in the pot? This ain’t Shabu Shabu honey!

Stir Fried Green Beans with Garlic

This dish was actually excellent. Where garlic is king and green beans soaked in all the pungent goodness.

Pomelo Salad
Fresh Red Snapper Sashimi Salad

I was first introduced to Pomelo Salad at Bleu/ XO so I was half hoping for something similar. Both salads were thankfully underdressed so you can dip the goodies in extra fish sauce or soy vinaigrette. Both light and fresh, a welcoming respite from all the garlic and chives.

Kristin’s Famous Sweet Rice, Sausages, and Shredded Pork

Rice was too sweet but fragrant with coconut water cooked right in. The egg was overdone, the sausage underdone, and the rice barely well done when it’s supposed to be burnt on bottom. A for effort, C for execution.

French Fries with Garlic and Sea Salt

Everyone needs fries on their menu. I just wished they dumped an entire bowl of whole garlic bits on this sucker. It was just ok.

Grilled Scallop with Masago Roe

The owner recognized my Mom so she gifted us their famous sizzling scallops. Had this dish not been free I would have never ordered it. It was just too chewy when I appreciate my scallop sashimi’d and my roe fresh and cold. Not cooked and hot. Just my preference, guys! ;D

Know Before You Go

They do NOT accept reservations. Like Oc and Lau, Boiling Crab, and Seafood Cove during lunch and weekends, expect LONG ass lines every day of the week. But at least you can shop at 99cent store located down the strip or grab a small pastry next door at 85 degrees while you wait. Although the shared plates warrant large group dining, this spot is just NOT good for groups. Unless you don’t mind the hour+ wait, best if someone comes and puts their name down for the entire party. All in all, not bad, but some of their most notable standouts (salmon belly/ chicken wings) is not nearly enough for me to commit to that gnarly wait. Did I mention the CRAZY wait time? Lol…don’t say I didn’t warn ya!*

 

Bon Appétit mes amis!

 

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