- LT from LF Feb 28, 2005 06:43 PM
Lately I've had strong Vietnamese cravings...but haven't have time to go off to Westminster or the like...so I was pleased to stumble on the following: Pho Fresco on Hillhurst (I think it used to be Cafe Al Fresco; I never went there then), which has a half-Vietnamese, half-Thai menu, and Pho 2000, on the west side of Western south of Wilshire. Here's what I've had so far. At Pho Fresco, I've had spring rolls (really tasty, and fresh made!), grilled lemon grass pork on rice, and a bowl of cold vermicelli noodles on top of chopped lettuce, basil and bean sprouts, then topped with perfectly grilled shrimp and chunks of the aforementioned lemon grass pork (chargilled). Oh yeah. Comes with a lovely dipping sauce (redolent of nam pla!) and a wee bowl of tasty broth.
At Pho 2000, I've only had spring and summer rolls (liked the summer rolls better--small and crispy and wrapped in cool lettuce) and...OXTAIL SOUP. Oooooooo...SO GOOD. You get the standard bowl o'noodles in beef broth with the usual accessories (bean sprouts, basil, lime, onions, etc.); the oxtail comes in a separate bowl. What can I say?? Tastewise, the essence of beef: texture, meltingly silken and tender...alternate bites of oxtail with slurps of noodle-y soup...I should try something else, but the oxtail is so perfect I can't bear not to have it....
i had a pretty bad experience at pho fresco. when i'm looking for pho, i'm looking for a place that'll make it as good, if not better than my mom or myself. and this was not it. gingergrass is better, but not my much, and pho cafe is much better. i haven't tried out pho 2000 yet, but the drive to sgv is really worth it.
as for kp, i went there today. there sandwiches are very tasty, and filled with yummy goodness, but man, they're expensive. it all comes down to location, location, location!
oooh...sorry to hear you had a bad experience--how recently? I was there last night and my only complaint was that the bean sprouts looked a bit tired. The pho was fine, with lots of tendon. A huge plus in my case was indeed location, because it was at the end of a long, tense day and no way would I ever have made it to SGV!
Only other oxtail i really like besides Vietnamese Pho is the way Caribbean folks cook oxtail.
Other than that, Vietnamese (especially south) cook oxtail well.
Don't like Filipino Kare-Kare as much, though its decent.