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best pho in san gabriel valley?

  • m

i know this subjects been done a lot before but my dad's been craving good pho. he has parkinson's so he doesn't get out much so i'd like to make it nice. haven't tried pho in the sgv so i'm turning to y'all. any suggestions?

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  1. Pho 79 in Alhambra. (on garfield ave and main st)

    2 Replies
    1. re: cheesecustard

      thank you for the info. is there anything closer to rosemead?

      1. Myoo, check out these links.



        A friend of mine loves Saigon Flavor.

        I like Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa in Alhambra, but I would not say it's the best. The reason I like Nem is-- fast service, cheap price, fresh food, nice people-- also, it's less crowded than most places on Valley Blvd.

        2 Replies
        1. re: katkoupai

          thanks so much. checked out the site. very informative. where is saigon flavor?

          1. re: myoo

            No problem. Saigon Flavor is in the city of San Gabriel, on Valley Blvd.

            Saigon's Flavor - (626) 572-6036 - 208 E Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA

        2. You might want to check out Raytamsgv's site, here: http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/ - entertaining and informative reviews.

          I like the pho at Golden Deli (on Las Tunas), but that may be a result of being addicted to their cha gio and therefore not an thoroughly helpful/"based on the pho" recommendation.

          1. go to golden deli. by far, it is the de facto standard for pho in the SGV. eatdrinknbmerry (in the link below) officially endorses golden deli as the 'gold medal' towards the bottom of his review. so do i. you can go to saigon flavor or vietnam house, but to me i think they're a little bit off. (actually they're owned by the same people that own golden deli... but GD was the very first shop and i think they haven't quite managed to replicate the magic in their newer shops)

            1. thanks to all the suggestions. i think we'll try golden deli next time. we went to pho 79 last night and my dad liked it but i didn't think it was so great. it was my dad's night so i'm glad he enjoyed it. again, thanks.

              1 Reply
              1. re: myoo

                I would furthur the Golden Deli vote- if you go on a weekend though be prepared for a wait

              2. Pho Nguyen Hoang

                401 Valley Blvd
                San Gabriel

                1. It depends on the severity of your father's Parkinson's disease. While Golden Deli is good, it is extremely cramped and lacks seats for waiting places. If your father is in a wheelchair or has limited mobility, it will be absolutely impossible to manuver there. Vietnam House is more easily accessible. Pho Superbowl is also good. Both are close to the San Gabriel/Alhambra border on Las Tunas/Main. Pho 79 also has decent accessibility, but it's farther.

                  26 Replies
                  1. re: raytamsgv

                    Excellent point, raytamsgv - thanks for noting this issue (which I'd completely overlooked, sorry!).

                    1. re: raytamsgv

                      if it helps, i typically go to golden deli in that downtime between lunch and dinner - around 3 or 4pm ish. the place is usually relatively empty then, and the booths are very wide and comfortable for seating 2-4 people.

                      1. re: raytamsgv

                        thanks so much for the additional info. although not wheelchair bound, he does have limited mobility. we did go to pho 79. he liked it but i want to try somewhere else next time. will try both vietnam house and pho superbowl.

                        1. re: myoo

                          I've eaten at most if not all of the pho places in SGV and my favorite place is a dumpy looking one on Garvey south of Rosemead Boulevard. I do not remember the name but it is next to a used car dealership.

                          It has the best pho to date.

                          I've eaten pho in Vietnam also, and nothing compares to this place.

                          I'll try to find the name, but there really is no sign.

                          1. re: djblisk

                            Hi djblisk - IIRC, Rosemead runs north & south and Garvey runs east and west... could you please be more specific of the location (I want to try it!!!). THANKS!! ;-)

                            1. re: WildSwede

                              Oops. Its east of rosemead on Garvey.

                              I think its called Pho Hien. But don't quote me on that. It is very nondescript. I wish I could be more help with the cross street, but if you pass the Mexican supermarket, you went too far. its about a block before it.

                              1. re: djblisk

                                Thanks! I will head there and search for it this weekend (or maybe one of these weeknights) if I can't wait that long. I love Pho and since you have had it in Vietnam and say this is better, I definitely have to try! Thank you again! One more question - is it on the north or south side of the street? In a strip mall? Any info will help!! ;-) TIA!

                                1. re: WildSwede

                                  not in a strip mall and its on the north side.

                                  Its right next to a used car dealership!

                                  I wish I could be more help.

                                  and in all honesty, the pho in vietnam is not as flavorful as the pho here. Many vientamese people have told me the same thing.

                                  1. re: djblisk

                                    That should be enough. I will drive by several times to find it!! Thanks for the rec!

                                    1. re: WildSwede

                                      Okay, so yesterday around 5:30 I ventured to find the place that djblisk mentioned above. Took Garfield down to Garvey and headed east. First off, does anyone know why there is not one single bank along all of Garvey (found an ATM at the Garvey/Valley intersection). Anyways, back to the search. Now, there are several used car dealerships east of Rosemead and eqaually as many places that serve Pho. After driving around a little, I noted a small building with the name "Hien" on it, so thought this was the place (immediately next to a small used car dealership on a north-east corner). It was gated shut and dark, although the sign in the window indicated "Open". Immediately east of that building, on the other side of a driveway, there was another Pho place (cannot remember name). I passed it and turned around and pulled into the driveway since the window indicated that there was "parking in the back". There were no parking spaces available, so I pulled up next to the chain link fence and decided that I would ask the man and woman who were behind the restaurant rinsing dishes with the hose (??!!) if it was alright that I park there. The man came towards me and started yelling at me. I asked him if I could park there and he said "no!" and walked off. Then the lady came towards me and I asked her if I could park there. She said no and told me I was eating tacos. I said, no, I am eating Vietnamese. She said that I was eating tacos and this parking was for the Vietnamese restaurant. I, once again, told her that I was eating Vietnamese. Then (about 3 minutes into arguing with her, she realized with a shocked look on her face that this blond-haired caucasian was indeed was planning on eating Vietnamese but by that time I was so pissed off that I decided I was not going to spend one cent of my hard-earned money at this place. So I left.
                                      Continuing west on Garvey, I had passed several Pho places and figured I would stop at one of them. Drove by a couple which were already closed (it was just after 6) and finally found one that was open.
                                      Gha Hang My Hanh. So I parked, walked in and sat down. That there were only two other people in there should have been my first clue. Ordered Pho Tai - extra large, not so much meat. Waitress argued with me and asked if I wanted extra noodles. I told her I did not want extra noodles - all I wanted was the Pho Tai, X-Large, not so much meat. Took about 5 minutes for her to understand what I was saying. Total attitude. Then I ordered spring rolls and iced tea. Order came. Wonderfully large bowl of Pho. I tasted the broth - nothing there. Now, I had always told myself that any bowl of Pho could be doctored up to be passable. I was wrong. This Pho was awful - regardless of how many condiments I added. Then I realized that they do not add cilantro to theirs and then I there I realized just how much cilantro adds to the flavor. However, I really doubt that anything could have helped this bland broth. I ended up not even eating half of it and did not even eat half of one of the two spring rolls they brought. Just tasted old.
                                      What is with the attitudes of these people? I know that they do not jump for joy when I walk into Pho 79, but come on, at least they are not rude.
                                      From now on, I will be eating my Pho north of Valley Blvd. Note to self, again, NEVER, NEVER second guess your first thought of going to Pho 79!!

                                      1. re: WildSwede

                                        oy vey. i feel for you wildswede, but lol what a funny story. welcome to the dark underbelly of SGV dining! i love me a good hole in the wall, but rude service totally pisses me off, especially at dives (usually asian, i'm embarassed to say) which can't back up the attitude with worthy food.

                                        just two nights ago, i went to a place in chinatown. the waitress was completely rude and cut my mom off, MID-SENTENCE WHILE ORDERING, to go seat some customers and pour tea for three other tables. top it off we had absolute crap wonton noodles and duck that tasted like it had been sitting in the refrigerator for about a week. wth was up with that?

                                        i'm gonna go seek out those first two pho places you tried to go to, tell them that the word is out on the internet, and make 'em get their act together!

                                        that said, check out golden deli if you haven't been there already =).

                                        1. re: rameniac

                                          ;-) You go rameniac!! I am sorry to hear about your experience!! I have decided that places that treat me poorly will never have me grace their presence again. You think that story was funny, you should hear the one about what happened to me and my friend last week at breakfast in the Trevos Restaurant at the Pasadena Hilton (I am still trying to decide whether or not I will be posting about that one or not!!)!! I have tried Golden Deli and like it! Thanks! Have a great weekend!

                                          1. re: rameniac

                                            Former resident of SGV and I have to second what Rameniac said. I can put up with attitude if the food is worth it, but if it's not, then I'm out. My parents are much better at it than I am, but they can also be lousy tippers, so I guess those restaurants get what's coming to them.

                                            Golden Deli sounds totally familiar, although I don't really know my way that well anymore. Where is it?

                                          2. re: WildSwede

                                            Holy Crap!!! I'm really sorry for your whole ordeal and experience Wildswede. This place that you mention " noted a small building with the name "Hien" on it, so thought this was the place (immediately next to a small used car dealership on a north-east corner). It was gated shut and dark, although the sign in the window indicated "Open" is the place!!!! I have always eaten there at lunch and they were open but I don't what time they close at night, apparently they may not even do dinner. Plus I've eaten there mostly on saturdays, mondays, tuesdays and fridays, which they've been open. the place is no frills and the little lady at the register is also the waitress. She is really nice and stuff on top of it. I hope you do try it one day, but after your ordeal I wouldn't blame you if you never came back.

                                            1. re: djblisk

                                              Not your fault. I am glad that I at least found the place! If I happen to be down there and they are open I will definitely try them again. Now, if that little lady is rude, this girl will walk out!! ;-)

                                            2. re: WildSwede

                                              dear wildswede, i believe the restaurant you are looking for is 'pho hien'. the address is 9911 garvey ave in el monte. it is in a stand alone building and does have its own parking lot in the back. their pho are quite tasty and their meat tends to be on the leaner side. less fatty that is. i believe they close by 5pm however. you should give this restaurant a try because i like it.

                                              1. re: curtiskan

                                                I thikn you are correct. It is a tiny building that is immediately east of a tiny used car lot (which is on a corner) and then east of that is another Pho place (the "Rude People Pho Place" is what I have deemed it)? If so, I will definitely go back and try it before 5. Just because you like it!! ;-)
                                                Went to Golden Deli last night and had the Pho (the way I like it - no one looked at me like I was crazy or had to re-iterate it 40 times to get it) and spring rolls and lemonade soda. Great, although phe 79 still eeks it out of 1st place although the service cannot be beat!! Also, anyone ever try that seafood place in the same center? It was jumping last night with about 25-30 people waiting for a table. What is good?? Thanks!

                                                1. re: WildSwede

                                                  haha "that seafood place" is the perennial favorite here and everywhere else, newport seafood. their cambodian-chinese lobster and french style beef are most excellent!

                                                  1. re: rameniac

                                                    I love french style beef! Will definitely need to try! Thanks! ;-)

                                                    1. re: WildSwede

                                                      I believe that restaurant, Newport Seafood, only takes cash. It's a great place to eat!

                                                  2. re: WildSwede

                                                    dear wildswede, pho hien is worth a try. you will stick out like a sore thumb because i don't remember ever seeing a non asian there and i had been there a few times. i like them because their meats tend to have minimal fat (healthier) although i have many vietnamese friends who prefer their pho greasier. do get there earlier as i found the broth tends to more diluted as they are close to their closing time. if i am correct, they are closed on thursday so beware and enjoy.

                                                    1. re: curtiskan

                                                      I like my pho not swimming in grease, so it sounds like it would be right up my alley! I do not mind sticking out - I am constantly sticking out! ;-) Just makes life interesting! Do you know if they are open on weekends? Thanks!

                                                      1. re: WildSwede

                                                        Curtiskan is totally right about that Pho Hien place.

                                                        1. re: WildSwede

                                                          I believe the only day they are closed is thursday. Don't hold me to it.

                                                            1. re: WildSwede

                                                              The pho place is called Pho Hien-Mai.

                                                              I had it last wednesday and it is still my favorite.

                                2. i usually don't like pho, but this is the only place i would eat it... tasty broth

                                  Pho Pasteur
                                  8821 Valley Blvd
                                  Rosemead, CA 91770
                                  (626) 292-5888

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: vibrant

                                    Pho Pasteur is marginal at best.

                                    Pho Ha across the street is significantly better. Although it is still par in my book.

                                    1. re: vibrant

                                      Didn't think Pasteur was too bad (although I had to wait a while one time), but there was something odd about their broth. My diabetic BF's blood sugar skyrocketed after he ate there. He's a pho fanatic and he said that was the only place where the pho messed with his blood sugar that badly.

                                      I know it's pretty standard to sweeten pho broth, but maybe Pasteur sweetens more than others?

                                    2. Try Pho Pasteur on Valley and I think San Gabriel. It's in a mini plaza. I also really like Golden Deli on Las Tunas. Although I usually go to Golden Deli for other dishes.. more like their rice or dry noodle dishes. Pho Pasteur 's is real famous for their pho.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: karynx78

                                        if you go to Pho Pasteur, definitely try their house special fried fish cake... it's smooth shrimp paste wrapped with bean curd skin and thrown in the fry-o-lator. it's bliss.

                                      2. I don't eat pho that often, but my consistent favorite is Noodle City in Alhambra.


                                        1. Go and try Hoa Noodle @301 N. Garfield Ave. in Monterey Park. The Pho is really good. Also, they have a great Bun Bo Hue. I heard they were originally Pho Hoa on Atlantic Blvd. in Montery Park. I really recommend this place.

                                          1. pho hien mai is the best by far , not fancy but the older lady is nice . at the corner of garvey and potrero in el monte and if you want a special treat go across the street to tito's market and get a beef empanada, enjoy