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9021PHO

trojans Dec 8, 2009 01:24 PM

Dont go.

New "vietnamese" restaurant opened on Beverly Drive and Santa monica Blvd. Serving "pho" and salads and entrees that come complete with soup salad and appetizer. We had the beef "pho" which was really just colored water with a few slices of brisket. We even had to request the standard accompaniments of Sprouts, Basil and Jalapeno. We also had some chicken entree with black beans. There was a Bahn Mi I saw on the menu at the counter for $9.00 I didn't see it on the menu we were handed. Bottom line, another watered down ethnic place that will end up leaving everyone unsatisfied. Oh yeah the service was pretty bad too.

  1. m
    Matt Esq. Jan 20, 2010 02:18 PM

    I can't believe that anyone would go to this restaurant expecting to have an authentic experience. Come on people! Stop taking this stuff so seriously! This place doesn't give any illusions of what it is. From the name alone you should expect it to be Westernized, and if you hate everything that isn't authentic, then don't go. I've not been to this place and have no idea if it is good or not, but it is not a valid criticism to say that it is not authentic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Matt Esq.
      Ciao Bob Jan 21, 2010 09:01 AM

      Matt Esq, why are you are assuming it is impossible to have an authentic Vietnamese experience in BH? I agree it is highly, highly unlikely but, as 9021Pho proves, not impossible (even with a gimmicky moniker).
      No less an authority on Asian cuisine, TonyC, of the Sinosoul blog http://sinosoul.com/ endorsed it. I think you will find it quite un-Westernized, and very un-Beverly Hillsinized.

    2. l
      lalaw05 Jan 20, 2010 11:07 AM

      I wouldn't say 'don;'t go' - maybe just, don't go out of your way. The food isn't bad - it's fresh and fine. perhaps not an authentic rendition of Pho, but the food is fine. I work in BH and can name about 15 places that are on my I refuse-to-eat-there list, and this is not one of them. In fact, the office is ordering in soup in the rainstorm right now, and I am sure we will be happy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lalaw05
        Ciao Bob Jan 20, 2010 01:13 PM

        I went today. Loved it. There is a wonderful grilled chpped beef, wrapped in "vine leaf" appetizer that rocked. The Pho was great. Far better than Absolutely Phobulous.

      2. TonyC Dec 31, 2009 09:14 AM

        After a 5 course here last weekend, I will diagree wholehearted with the OP.

        It was a surprise. Pho tai (rare beef) had great triangular relationship between nutmeg, cinnamon, veering a bit towards the anise side. The rare sirloin, when asked, and served, on the side, is cut not too thin, and was tender, beefy, with no stench of rawness. The accoutrement platter missed saw leaf herb (culantro), but it really mattered not. Bo vien beef balls were served in halves with the soup, and the pho itself arrived plated with only beef & scallions, with scalding hot soup on the side. For the West side, it’s difficult to imagine a better bowl of pho tai bo vien.

        But the most surprising of all was thit bo nuong la lot. Often served during bo bay mon (7 course beef), thit bo nuong la lot (a great recipe can be found here) usually never remains on the mind after consumption. It’s a simple dish, but here, the beef is grounded coarsely, nearly burger texture, and served medium rare. Previous attempts to eat bo nuong la lot raw were all thwarted by the relatively fatty beef and skinny roll, but not here. This is a grilled Vietnamese beef burger in a stick. Beyond it being a rarity, it’s oddly sublime.

        The rest of the courses were perfectly fine save the white meat used in the pho ga, and the odd goi cuon spring roll featuring jicama instead of sliced pork. Here, 9021pho’s combo of thit bo nuong la lot and and the balanced pho more than deserves the neighborhood’s soupy demands.

        (NB: a SGV resident here, and did the S. El Monte pho shop crawl before JGold's write up, I like my own pho ga, using "old chicken" from Majestic poultry, about 300% more than 9021pho's)

        Pix of pho tai at : http://sinosoul.com/2009/12/90210pho-...

        1 Reply
        1. re: TonyC
          l
          latindancer Dec 31, 2009 09:28 AM

          Thanks so much, TonyC for this description. I've been wanting to try it based on some very positive local paper reviews.
          The place always seems busy and today, with a cold brewing, this just sounds like the place to go.
          I always appreciate your reviews.

        2. r
          RicRios Dec 9, 2009 09:36 AM

          Well, certainly LA Times' Linda Burum thinks quite differently:

          "simple yet excellent pho menu "
          "pristine freshness and modern garnish"
          "flavorful broths"
          ... &etc

          http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

          (I haven't been there, so please don't kill the messenger)

          9 Replies
          1. re: RicRios
            trojans Dec 9, 2009 10:14 AM

            "The presentation of the phobo is something to behold. A vat of steaming beef broth holding chewy quartered meatballs comes to the table and alongside it a plate of carpaccio-thin sliced lean beef. "Swish the meat slices in the broth and they'll cook," says our waiter. We do, and a few minutes later the soup is ready to eat." (LA Times)

            Yeah, it was nothing like that for us. The meat was already in the soup and not much of it either. Also we had to ask for the sprouts et al. we got two whole basil leaves. No hoisin but the table next to us had it. Also the entrees state it comes with soup, I had to ask multiple times for the soup. I finally got it after desert.

            I think for me part of the problem is I like the tendon and tripe. I don't like food that is so heavily westernized. Come on this is Los Angeles not Idaho. We are used to ethnic food and we actively seek it out. I'm not Thai nor am I a chef but I make a more flavorful pho broth.

            1. re: trojans
              hppzz Dec 9, 2009 10:44 AM

              read the LA times review right before you posted...and our gut says we trust your opinion more.

              1. re: trojans
                b
                bsquared2 Dec 13, 2009 10:38 PM

                Bad Puns = Bad Pho. Especially puns that really don't make sense when the name of dish is pronounced correctly. Right now I am thinking up bad puns for Bun Bo Hue or Bun Tom Thit Nuong!

                I don't even mind if the food is westernized a bit. I've taken people to Gingergrass before they are ready to 'take the plunge' and go for the authentic stuff. Of course, I have a couple of cool friends who can go straight to the 7 Courses of Beef and the "stinky sauce". I will say that if the broth is watery, what's the point of eating Pho? No matter how good the beef or noodles are, if the soup isn't spot on, then it is not a good bowl of Pho.

                "Chicken Entree w/ Black Beans"? In Vietnam, people eat beans for dessert (Che). That would be like pouring Hershey's syrup on a pork chop.

                As far as a $9 Banh Mi goes... Maybe I would pay a bit more than Banh Mi Che Cali if I didn't have to jump in the car to the SGV, but it better be good.

                Plus, if you have to ask for veggies, something is wrong.

                1. re: bsquared2
                  Ciao Bob Dec 14, 2009 07:52 AM

                  We don't need a "9021Pho" or an "Absolutely Phobulous"...what we really need is a good Pho-Q!!!

                  1. re: Ciao Bob
                    trojans Dec 14, 2009 08:11 AM

                    Hood one Ciao Bob. How about pho get about it.

                    1. re: Ciao Bob
                      Servorg Dec 14, 2009 08:17 AM

                      Pho-geddaaboutit is right....What about a Vietnamese candy shop featuring chocolate Phodge? ;-D>

                      1. re: Servorg
                        Ciao Bob Dec 14, 2009 08:20 AM

                        That's pho-nny too!

                      2. re: Ciao Bob
                        b
                        bsquared2 Dec 14, 2009 07:42 PM

                        There is Pho Kimmy in Little Saigon. I wonder if it was originally called Pho Kim and somebody clued them in about the name.

                        1. re: bsquared2
                          wilafur Jan 20, 2010 01:34 PM

                          pho kimmy is quite good!

                2. Dommy Dec 9, 2009 08:44 AM

                  I know exactly how you feel... oh boy... do I... Thanks for the report back!! :)

                  --Dommy!

                  1. b
                    Bjartmarr Dec 8, 2009 11:57 PM

                    I think "pho" and "Beverly Hills" were all I needed to know.

                    Sorry you had a bad meal.

                    1. raytamsgv Dec 8, 2009 10:21 PM

                      Bahn Mi for $9 ?! That's insane. But if there are people dumb enough to buy it....

                      1. Emme Dec 8, 2009 08:54 PM

                        thanks for taking one for the team. i live all too close, and was considering trying in the next couple of weeks... guess i'll pass. too bad.

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