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Pho Show: A Quick Hit

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First of all I have to say I liked it. Though I was wary of posting my first review here since I was very late in jumping on the Pho Bandwagon since in my early years I had a distaste for thai Basil. but My taste has matured. Plus I wanted dommy! there to have someone to work off of but alas she was galavanting at the Getty for work. We'll go back next week

But it is a modern interior with the Glow of Bamboo colored paint on the wall. The service was very friendly but had the undertone of nervousness of opening a restaurant. The Menu was Decent Looking with a selection of Pho, Bun and Com entrees Plus Apps rolls and salads. Plus a Nice Surprise Mexican versions of Coke 7-up etc

I ordered the Shrimp spring roll [Goi Cuon Tom], a small Pho Show Dac Biet [rare steak, brisket, tendon, tripe and beef balls], plus a bottle of 7-up.

The food came very quickly and at the same time. The spring rolls were smaller than most I seen but half decent and I'm not sure but I think they made a curious peanut sauce combo but it will require further investigation [tasting]

The the soup [I ordered a small but it was a decent sized bowl almost enough to share] came with a caddy and a plate of condiments, On the plate were jalapenos Thai Basil, lemon, and bean sprouts. in the Caddy was Fish sauce, Chili sauce Chili Paste and a Hoisin like sauce and it was good that all the acccoutrements were there since the broth was a bit weak. It didn't have a beefy flavor I was hoping for but I was able to doctor it up satisfactorily.

Total bill $16 plus tip. Not bad.

I will say again I liked it and hope for their success since Culver City is in need of some diversity [not only in restaurants but in many other aspects. ]

Take Care

- P.

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  1. I'm a little unclear where you went for this. Can you post restaurant name and address?

    1 Reply
    1. re: gsw

      Sorry, I was tired when I posted last night.

      Pho Show
      4349 Sepulveda Blvd
      Culver City CA 90230
      (310) 398-5200
      No Website listed

      11:00 am -10:00 pm 7 Days

    2. wow, how do you get a $16 bill from that?

      8 bucks for the pho, 6 bucks for the spring rolls, a buck for the soda, + tax?

      3 Replies
      1. re: ns1

        1 Small Pho $6.95
        1 Order Spring Rolls $5
        1 Bottle of 7-up $2.25
        Not having to Schlep to Little Saigon for Vietnamese food: Priceless

        1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

          Overall, doesn't sound too bad if you tack on the west side tax. Bottle Mexican sodas is about a quarter more than I'd expect. With gas prices these days having something nearby equates out cheaper anyway.

          We're within walking distance so we'll happily pay the slight upcharge for the convenience and savings as long as the food is acceptable.

          Otherwise, it's load up at Banh Mi Che Cali on my way up from OC.

          Thanks for the great report and pricing.

          1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

            I'll have to say, MiLA, that you can do a hell of a lot better for less a lot closer than Little Saigon, though maybe not within bicycling distance! From Chinatown through the SGV, we've had gallons of darned good pho and never paid over five bucks a bowl, except once when I got greedy with the beef balls. At the moment I can't quite decide whether the Pho 99 in Alhambra or Vietnam Restaurant in San Gabriel is my favorite...I think it's just whichever one I'm eating at now!

        2. I just drove by there last Saturday on my way to Fathers office coming from LAX. The name " Pho Show " got our attention and made us laugh, I was wondering how it was. Thanks for your review.

          1. do you know if they are open for lunch? if so, i may take a walk over there today.

            2 Replies
            1. re: carln

              They Open @ 11am. Post your thoughts I am curious for another opinion

              1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                Just tried Pho Show and I tend to agree with you, particularly on the pho--the soup definitely needed the addition of some of the condiments to add character to the too weak broth. I started off with the banh xeo, which was fresh and tasty but a tad undercooked/mushy. The place is brand new and will hopefully correct the kinks but the broth is the main thing they need to work on.

            2. thanks for the heads up. sure beats schlepping into the sfv for pho. i'll have to give them a whirl when the pho craving hits!

              1. Full review with pics here:
                http://www.runawaysquirrels.com/2008/...

                I went here today for dinner and the place was pretty full. I ordered the pho with rare slices of beef, tendon, tripe, and beef balls. I agree with the previous posters that the broth was weak. I was also disappointed at the noodles. They were clumped together and tasteless like they had been pre-cooked and sitting around for a while. They also forget to put the beef balls in my pho.

                The one thing I did like was the Thai iced tea. It wasn't too sweet, which is my main complaint about that drink.

                I hope the weak broth is just them going through some first-week-frenzies and will improve soon. It would be nice to have a good pho place on the west side.

                1. How are they pronouncing the name of this place? "Pho Show" like the two words rhyme or the more phonetically correct "Phu Show" which seems awkward.

                  For sure, man.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JOHNO2

                    whoops

                  2. Went there opening day for lunch, which was a mistake (opening day, that is), because the workers were still sorting things out. A couple even walked out before their food arrived, because it took for-ev-er.

                    The broth is definitely weak, a top priority for its namesake. During my lunch, they forgot to bring us the garnishes (basil, mint leaves, bean sprouts and lemon) so I did my best with the hoisin and chili sauce. The Vietnamese coffee was also seriously lacking -- it was watered down and weak, and there was no condensed milk.

                    For now, Pho 99 on Wilshire in West LA (near Brentwood) is the best spot for West-siders. Still, because I live in Culver City, I'm looking forward to seeing Pho Show step up its game.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: sunninho

                      no condensed milk!??!

                      you sure they brought you the right kind of coffee!?

                      1. re: ns1

                        i ordered cafe sua da. i was hoping they'd get the coffee right, since the soup was bland. also, i was expecting maybe a modern or creative take on vietnamese food, but the menu and the food was straight-forward -- which is fine as long as the execution is good. unfortunately, i was disappointed, but i'm real hopeful things will turn around.

                        1. re: sunninho

                          wow...just wow...

                          that's like getting a cafe au lait with no milk

                          1. re: ns1

                            Pho Show has only been open a week, so I am hoping they'll improve. It's great to have a Vietnamese place on the west side, but I was also disappointed by the pho and the sua da. That said, the coconut milk was fresh and delicious and the grilled pork was also very good. Service was friendly and speedy.

                            I hope the food improves...

                            1. re: banjoboy

                              Was really hoping it would be better. I think there is a rule that regarding Vietnamese food, bad pun = weak food. Another example is Absolutely PHObulous.

                              I had the spring rolls and Pho Tai. The rice paper in the spring rolls was very gummy. Perhaps they made them ahead of time and put them in the fridge (bad mistake for fresh spring rolls). I ordered Pho Tai but there was only one piece of meat and a big handful of tripe in the bowl. I mentioned that I ordered Pho with Rare Beef and they brought me a new bowl. This time there were 3 pieces of meat. I also had Iced Coffee, which was really watery. It didn't have the kick or sweetness of good Caphe Sua Da.

                              It ended up around $15, which seemed like a lot in relation to the quality of the food. I did see some people ordering rice dishes and they looked better than the Pho.

                              I hope they get it together. I love VN food and I can't find any good places on the Westside (near work).

                              1. re: bsquared2

                                Actually just found this place. I've been bemoaning the lack of good Pho on the westside, but I really enjoyed my dinner. I found the broth to be very flavorful and clean-tasting, as opposed to MANY Pho restaurants that serve MSG-laden broth. I am very sensitive to MSG, my fingers and toes swell up when I have too much. This is the first Pho place where I had almost the whole bowl of soup, but no swelling. But maybe the quality of the broth has gotten better since their opening. I also thought the noodles were pretty good. Not too soft, but chewy. Wednesday night, and the place was packed. The service could have been better, because there was only one server working. It reminded me of that game Diner Dash. The poor girl was doing a hundred things at once. Besides the Pho, we ordered the calamari (too salty), the pork egg rolls (okay, but not great), and the vietnamese iced coffee, which was SO YUMMY. Super strong coffee with just the right amount of condensed milk. I would go back to try some of the other items, but mostly because I like the Pho. Finally a place on the westside that serves a decent bowl of Pho.

                                1. re: keroleena

                                  Do I need to try this place again? I really thought it was mediocre when I went there before. I love Pho, but I refuse to eat bad Pho. There's no point. I would rather spend 30 mins on the freeway to go to SGV on the weekend.

                                  As much as I love Pho, what I am looking for is some good Bun Cha Hanoi in LA. Or a really good Banh Mi. Where is the Kogi-style Banh Mi truck?

                                  1. re: bsquared2

                                    Bsquared2, I love the Bun Cha Ha Noi at Pho 999 on the NW corner of Victory @ Sepulveda. I don't know if it's comparatively good because I've never had that dish at any other restaurant, but it's my choice on over 80% of my Pho 999 visits.

                                    1. re: Dogbite Williams

                                      Thanks for the tip. I usually have to drive to OC to get good BCHN. It's funny, people always ask me where to get the best PHO, but I often eat more Bun Bo Hue, Bun Thit Nuong or things like that. BCHN is such a unique dish. My favorite choice when I want to get my pork on.

                                      1. re: bsquared2

                                        I went today for an early lunch around 11am. New sign sez they are open for breakfast now from 7am-11am although I was the onjly one in there. Had the Bun Thit Bo Nuong. It wasn't bad but wasn't anything like any I have ever had. Seemed kinda like CPK where they have a Thai salad and its not bad but there is nothing very Thai about it. Also the fish sauce tasted like they watered it down . Wasn't a horrible lunch guess just not what i was expecting. Will go back one day to try out the pho since it is close by.