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Jan 7, 2005 11:12 AM

Best Pho In Little Saigon

  • z

I am looking for the best Pho in little Saigon. I'm talking about the kind where the broth just makes you go 'Whoa'.....'cause it has that mad flavor. Looking for the place that has the little old lady who just watches over the huge stockpot of bubbling stock 24/7/365. I would love to find hands down the place to eat. Thanks.

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  1. There have been some very good reports on Pho Hien over the years. Not to be confused with Pho Hien Mai, (at 9805 Garvey) and which is not rated nearly as highly for their Pho according to the past posters.

    Pho Hien
    9911 Garvey AVe.
    El Monte
    626 575 1949

    4 Replies
    1. re: WLA

      I am one of the big Pho Hien fans. (Hienophiles? Hienies?) My brother was in town for three weeks, and we went five times. Sorry, Carb Lover, but tried V&L again, and this time, the broth was watery and too clovey. Can't play pho roulette.

      1. re: Robert Lu

        Love your last line--a true Chowhound!!!

      2. re: WLA

        Pho is such a personal thing, what one person likes may not be the same for someone else. What attributes are important to you? For me, it's the broth and the meat, whereas my wife prefers quality of the noodles and the noodle/meat ratio (she doens't like a lot of meat).

        Having said that, our favorite place for Pho is at Pho Thanh Lich on the corner of Brookhurst and Hazard in Little Saigon. They allow you to choose to have filet mignon instead of the normal bottom round beef as your Tai (rare) beef. The broth is deep, strong and tasty. But for me, the choice of filet mignon separates Pho Thanh Lich from the other Pho places in Little Saigon. It's that much better! YMMV.

        1. re: kingkong5

          Pho Than Lich is good, but for the Filet Mignon Pho, I like Quan Hop on Brookhurst and McFadden. In fact, I think their Pho is the best in SoCal. They also have the best rice cakes I've had in OC.

          Their Pho is a couple of bucks more than most places, but the atmosphere is nicer and they really use top quality ingredients in all their food.

          Pho Minh in in El Monte (not Little Saigon) is another place I really like. They make Pho old school, by boiling the bones for a long time. No MSG cheating that I could taste. The place is a little hard to find since they are in the back of the most nondescript strip mall.

      3. I'd check out the They have an article on the best pho places to eat in Little Saigon:

        1. Try Pho Kimmy, they have odd hours, but is is my current pho of choice.

          1. The debate over the better Pho bowl continues within my circle, but it ultimately ( agree with kingkong5) ends up being a matter of personal taste & texture. Every bowl of Pho has elements that connect with each & every diner. For my parents , broth is crucial & it must not be sweet , so the Pho 79 location in Little Saigon is top dog (hazard/brookhurst) . The Pho bowl here is well balanced & flavorful. If you are looking for the romance of knowing that your Pho came from the little old lady, then Pho Kimmy fits the bill. My uncle worked in her kitchen and has much respect for the way their Pho is prepared. The owners' father (70 something years old) comes in the kitchen at 4am to start the broth, she then comes in at 7 to continue the watch, & prep the rest of the condiments for the day's batch. Overall consensus from everyone I know who has eaten Kimmy's bowl is positive, even if their preferred style is different. As for us, we enjoy the ritual of making it so much that our home cooked Pho is priority . That's where our Pho bias lies. Good luck & have fun in finding your favorite.

            1. My choice is Pho Tau Bay on First Ave in Santa Ana. It is all about the broth! At Tau Bay, the broth tastes is pure, rich and savory. No overwhelming five spice powder here! It's about slow, simmering, and sweet .
              I like the rare beef and brisket combo best. Especially the brisket which has the right consistency, not too tough and not too tender. Best place to eat on a cold, winter day!