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Dec 11, 2009 10:49 AM

Pho Ga in San Gabriel

I tried Golden Deli a few weeks ago on a Sunday. The food was delicious, but I didn't like that it was so crowded and felt very rushed by the masses of people waiting inside and outside the restaurant to eat. At that time, a friend told me about Pho Ga, a restaurant that is also in San Gabriel.

So I tried Pho Ga the other day. The thing that impressed me the most about this place is that the price was so low, the service was quick, the flavor of the soup was good and the restaurant wasn't too crowded. I like places with good food where I can sit and enjoy myself for a while.

I tried the pho ga (broth, noodles and chicken) plus a hot tea for 3.99 plus tax. The total was less than 5 dollars, and the pho was very good. I thought the broth could have been a tad more flavorful, but after adding in the garlic sauce (that came on the side), the herbs and sprouts, the jalapenos, a squeeze of lime and some hot sauce, it was the perfect lunch for a cold day. The price was unbeatable, too. I would definitely go back to try some of the other menu items.

They also sell fresh raw sugar cane juice, which I will try another time.

If you have other suggestions in the SGV for pho, please let me know. Thanks.

Golden Deli
815 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

Pho Ga Restaurant
741 E Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

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  1. Are you sure it was garlic sauce? Usually pho ga is served with ginger fish sauce on the side for dipping the chicken in.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Tapeworm

      Pho Ga provides a side dish of garlic/ginger dipping sauce with their pho ga. It's the same sauce that they give you when you order their Hainan Chicken Rice. Go figure.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        But you think they have good Pho Ga? I've passed that place a bunch of time meaning to try it.

        1. re: bsquared2

          I think their pho ga is very very mediocre, despite being the restaurant's namesake.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            This was the first time that I had pho ga. Was the soup broth the best pho broth that I've ever had? No.

            The price and the speed of service made this place very good to me. In fact, I might choose it over other places with better broths for these reasons: plenty of room, quick service, reasonable sized portions, and a great price.

            I don't know what the sauce on the side was, but it was yellow with bits of what I thought were garlic in it. It tasted garlicky, but it may have been garlic and ginger or something else.

            Throw in the chilis, the sprouts, the hot sauce, and so on, and it was great.

            A good friend of mine likes Pho Pasteur and Saigon Flavor. I thought Golden Deli was delicious but uncomfortably crowded, and I will not go back during peak hours because of that.

    2. When golden deli is to crowded there is vietnam house across the street. Same owners as golden deli with a larger menu. The restaurants is a bit less comfortable with no booths but more tables. Neither golden deli nor vietnam house has the greatest Pho Ga. Better to go to a Pho Ga specialty place. The chicken curry though is excellent.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Harrison71

        I would love to find a really good place with Pho Ga. In fact, it would be great to find a place that specializes in North or Central Vietnamese food in the SGV. I know places in OC, but not in LA.

        1. re: bsquared2

          Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa in Rosemead specializes in Central Vietnamese food. As the name suggests, they have some very good nem nuong. I've been told their bun bo hue is good, but I've never had it there.

          1. re: raytamsgv

            I'm very loyal to Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa on Valley Blvd. If I went to another Nem Nuong Restaurant, I would probably hurt their feelings. Their Nem Nuong is very good, but there is not a lot of variety in their menu.

            I like Quan Hy in Little Saigon, but I haven't found a place like that in the SGV.

            1. re: bsquared2

              I like Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa, too, but I haven't been there in a long time. I was very excited the first time I went there, and I really liked their spring rolls.

        2. re: Harrison71

          Try Pho Bolsa in Westminster (Brookhurst and Westminster), ask for the chicken on the side.

          Pho Bolsa
          13912 Brookhurst St Garden, Grove, CA

        3. Today I stopped by Pho Ga, and ordered their Hainan Chicken rice. This is probably the worst Hainan Chicken rice I have ever tried. Even the pre-boxed Hainan chicken rice that you get at Yum Cha Cafe is way better than that. The thing is I expected their chicken to be tender, but it was so overcooked that the chicken is so dry as if it is chicken from the day before.

          I do believe their pho ga should be better because the soup I got with the dish is pretty flavorful. It's just that the chicken is so dry that it is really unacceptable. I should have tried their pho ga instead.

          The positive, the server was actually pretty helpful when I asked about the difference between the $3.99 vs. the $5.95 Hainan chicken rice.

          1. Although I am a big fan of Golden Deli (and like you, I am not fond of the lines) I think the pho at Pho 79 is better!

            Golden Deli
            815 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776