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Dec 9, 2008 03:24 PM

good vietnamese in the south bay

does it exist? a good bowl of pho and/or a fresh bowl of bun or banh mi..
in or around torrance, redondo/hermosa/manhattan beaches.

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  1. The best Vietnamese in the South Bay is a little farther north - in Gardena and Lawndale/Hawthorne areas. For Pho, the closest good place is Pho 1 in the Tozai Plaza on Redondo Beach Blvd. and Western in Gardena. My favorite is Pho Hoa on Prairie and Marine. There's another place with good Pho just a couple of doors up on Prairie. I think it's called Hanoi something...

    For bun, the best I've had is at Thai Lai on Prairie and Rosecrans. For some reason, that place gets some mixed reviews, but the bun is certainly excellent. They serve decent Pho, but it isn't their specialty.

    Banh Mi are a little hard to find around here, and I haven't found any very good places. There's Hong Long on Crenshaw just north of El Camino college, but I only go there when I REALLY feel like a banh mi and can't drive to Downtown.

    Good luck!

    4 Replies
    1. re: heinous

      Second (or third), Pho Hoa. I've tried a few more places in Lawndale, but this place has the best broth. I don't think I've tried Saigon Dish. I'll have to give it a try.

      1. re: heinous

        Sorry, I have to disagree with Pho So 1 in Tozai Plaza. It's the worst Pho I've had in the area. Pho Hong Long, just north of El Camino College on Crenshaw, is much better. Pho Hoa is also a good choice, although they always seem to be closed when I get a hankering for Pho.

        Hong Long's Banh Mi place (in the same strip as their Pho) sucks.

        Best Banh Mi I've had in South Bay are at Tapioca Express on Artesia. Second choice would be Saigon Flavor on Carson & Crenshaw.

        1. re: weirdboy

          Yikes, I've had the banh mi at Saigon Flavor and it was REALLY AWFUL. The bread was tough and painful to bite into and chew, the innards were totally not fresh. I was extremely saddened, because I live so close to Carson + Crenshaw.

          1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

            Been to Hong longs banh mi place as well when I saw the bread being taken out of a plastic bag I said pass. I still remember the lady yelling at me.. Im resolved ( good term today ) that I need to go to Little Saigon ( in the OC ) to get the real deal..

      2. Saigon Dish
        15725 Hawthorne Boulevard
        Suite 108
        Lawndale, CA 90260
        (310) 676-8778

        1 Reply
        1. re: WSB

          Thank you, I was trying to remember the name of that pho shop. Saigon Dish is pretty good, especially non-Westminster pho.

        2. when i am in the south bay , i usually go to pho hana for 'pho'.....just curious... but to those that replied how does it compare to those that you recommended...


          2 Replies
          1. re: jaymor

            Pho Hoa on prarie and marine is the best i have found to date.. and they just got new tables and chairs. very low key and vey good too..

            Pho Hoa
            15034 Prairie Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

            1. re: jaymor

              Pho Hana is OK. It's a Korean-run place, as opposed to Vietnamese-run. The other restaurants mentioned here are far better, in my opinion.

            2. Not exactly the south bay, but Le Saigon on Santa Monica Blvd in West LA is great! I think the cross street is roughly Barrington.

              1. Saigon Flavor is probably the only place to get banh mi in Torrance. A bit pricier than SGV, but where else are you gonna go? I like their BBQ pork or beef version.

                2515 W. Carson St. @ Crenshaw.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ristretto

                  After some self-flagellation at Pacific Sales' Year End Sale in Torrance yesterday - upgrading our old range to something more leaner and meaner - we needed to sit down and take in some comfort-ish food like a big bowl of soup with noodles. We weren't feeling like udon or ramen, so I remembered this place from this thread. We got some pho, com tam, and a couple other small dishes for lunch. It definitely hit the spot. One warning would be that the broth is pretty spicy - something that we've never encountered. We're not sure if it was from the cooked whole jalepeno in the soup or maybe even some white pepper, but the heat was there. We like spicy so we liked it, but for those expecting something else, be warned.

                  We didn't have room for the banh mi but my wife occasionally works in the area. Coupled with their hours - 7AM-9PM everyday - she'll grab a few and we'll hope that they pan out. While we are gah-gah over banh mi, driving out to SGV or North OC is a tough price to pay to scratch that itch. Thanks for the rec...