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Nov 18, 2000 08:04 PM

Transplanted New Yorker seeks Excellent Vietnamese

  • d

I used to live in Chinatown/Tribeca in Manhattan and I miss the excellent Vietnamese (like Pho Bang and Pho Pasture on Baxter and Bayard). The examples I've tried in LA have been passable but not inspiring. Anyone have any solid suggestions?

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  1. As I am sure you know, the heart of the Vietnamese community is in Orange Co. in the city of Westminster.
    It is a bit of a drive from Los Angeles for many people, but well worth the trip.
    My favourite is Thanh My Restaurant 9553 Bolsa Ave , Westminster 92683-5904 714-531-9540.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Gretchen

      Downtown Chinatown has some decent Viet places, not quite as good as Westminster in OC or Monterey Park in the SGV, but MUCH more convenient. I stop there for a steaming hot bowl of pho and some goi cuon, or bun cha, or imperial rolls at least once a week. My faves are Pho 79 (a little bit more sophisticated in presentation and preparation) and Viet Heung (much more homey in presentation and preparation, no decor to speak of), both in the same open-air mall on Broadway, the Wing Hop Fung center, I believe something like 110 N. Broadway, more or less... you can't miss it, really. There is underground parking in that mall, and all the stores and restaurants validate your parking. Pho 79 is right in front of you as come up the stairs from the parking lot. Viet Heung is just a few store down on the south side of the mall as you walk towards the Broadway end.

      1. re: jerry

        First of all, ANY Vietnamese place in Los Angeles (except on the Westside) is better than all Vietnamese places in New York.

        Pho 79 in Chinatown is an automatic call for great pho; Golden Deli in San Gabriel for great spring rolls; Thuan Kieu in San Gabriel for broken rice; Buu Dien in Chinatown for banh mi; My Dung in Rosemead for banh xeo; Pagode Saigon in San Gabriel for 7-course beef dinners; Tay Ho in San Gabriel for the amazing rolled rice noodle called banh cuon.

        Many of the famous specialty restaurants in Westminster --including most of the above, plus certainly Than My--are also in the San Gabriel Valley, but for more formal Vietnamese cuisine you will probably have to drive south.

        1. re: Pepper

          >ANY Vietnamese place in Los Angeles (except on the Westside) is better than all Vietnamese places in New York.

          You are insane. Over the past five years I've literally tried every vietnamese place within a 10 mile radius of Silverlake and have yet to find a place as good as the Pho Viet Huong, Vietnam on Doyers, or the New Pasteur. The San Gabriel and Westminister places are all very good, but damn far. Most of the places downtown are passable at best.

          1. re: NotSoTinyTim

            I agree with Pepper. New York may rule in terms of haute french cusine but for cheap asian eats, nothing beats LA. For $5 or less you can get a gigantic bowl of excellent pho in Roland Heights while $5 in New York will get you very good pho, but the portion will be half the size.

            1. re: Fred

              You're ALL wrong! For world-quality cheap Asian eats, particularly Southeast Asian, nothing, but nothing beats San Francisco. I haven't had even one meal in L.A. that holds a candle to the cold and hot Imperial rolls at Mai's on Clement Street in San Fran. In New York, you can now get very tasty cheap Vietnamese food at Saigon Grill on Broadway at 87th Street, including pho. I guess I will have to drive to Westminster, although it's hard to do when you just want to grab a quick dinner after work...! What's with this city, anyway? Even the Thai food is greasy and awful... none of the clean flavors, hot and sour and sweet, that I became spoiled by up North... someone prove me wrong, please, I'm desperate for a good meal...

            2. re: NotSoTinyTim

              I have yet to find any Vietnamese restaurant in L.A. that are as good(and cheap) as New York or Chicago.Pho 79 is just O.K.

              1. re: jez

                Chicago now? I must have blown through a dozen places looking for even a creditable bowl of pho and came away totally disappointed. (New York's Chinatown, as I've mentioned earlier, is hardly better.) Pho 79 rules. Golden Deli rules. Even Au Pagolac rules, by Chicago standards.

              2. re: NotSoTinyTim

                Never eaten much in NY. What I did eat seemed overpriced.

                You should try to drive in a 12 mile radius, because that gets you into the SGV, to Rosemead, where many Vietnamese live. Get used to the driving, and welcome to LA. :)

                My Dung near the corner of San Gabriel and Garvey, on Garvey a block to the east, is good. I don't think I've ever had a bad meal there. It's better than Pho 79, IMHO.

                You should thank your lucky stars you're on the eastern half of Hollywood. The food is a better deal there than if you were on the western half. (And despite my dis of Fred 62, it *is* better than Swingers.)

          2. re: Gretchen

            Oh yeah, Little Saigon! If you can't find a good Vietnamese restaurant there, well... My favorite was a little deli about a block or so east of the big supermarket -- very imprecise directions, I know, but it's hard to remember names when the signs are mainly in Vietnamese.

            David Cook

          3. These are in the Valley off the 405 on Sepulveda and Victory Blvd. There are many Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants there plus a Ranch 99 supermkt!