Pho79 A warning
- Beau Sep 20, 2005 03:48 PM
So I am an eater. I go all over looking for a good meal. And if I ind that meal I am prone to go back, sometimes on a weakly basis like my favorite Chinese restaurant.
That said, I went to Pho79 last week. Although they were skimpy on the sides like onions and sprouts, I very much enjoyed the broth. It wasn't a giant oil slick and tasted delicious. So I spread the word to my list of friends and planned on voyaging back this week.
Yesterday I went back. The meal was good, however I will never be going back. I had 3 $20 in my wallet. upon paying I was given change for a $10. I asked if I gave him a $20 and he said no. So I went and finished my water, went to the bathroom and came out. Walked up to him and told him that I have been here a few times and very much enjoyed my meal. Unfortunately I will never be coming back because I was lied to and ripped off. And I left.
So be warned. Does someone out there have any suggestions for good pho in the Koreatown/Hollywood/Downtown area to fill my pho void?
When I'm in Ktown, I love the pho at Pho LA in the 7-11 plaza on the southeast corner of 6th and Alexandria. Though very slight, I can taste the difference between all the other Vietnamese pho bowls I've had and the pho at Pho LA. Being Korean myself, the way it is made seems much more fitting for a korean tongue. If you try it, I hope it doens't disappoint even w/ the slight difference in taste.
I banned Pho LA form my list of places. it's a shame because they are a great stop at 3am now that cactus closes early. The pho was never really good in my mind, but it was somewhat close and open 24/7. Although i did learn how the koreans eat pho. I actually enjoy there approach with the onions on the side covered in sraracha and dipped in the bowl.
Maybe one day I'll finally find a good Ktown bbq place to go to.
All the "pho" places in K-town are definitely geared toward Korean palates. I'm not talking about the style of eating (onion-dipping or what have you). I'm talking about the taste of the actual dish itself (broth, noodles, etc...). K-town was the first place I lived when I moved to L.A. when I didn't know any better and thought that all pho places in L.A. were predominantly run by Koreans. I love Korean food itself, but sorry to say, I couldn't believe what was passing for pho there, but a Korean friend of mine told me she prefers the way Koreans make it and never liked any of the Viet pho places she was taken to. Moral of the story, if you're looking for PHO pho, don't go to Koreatown.
I just don't get what the appeal of this place is. After reading so many effusive reviews, I had to check it out. The pho broth I had there tasted really weak and watery. Such a disappointment. I thought they might have had an off day, so I went again a month later. Still the same anemic broth. That's it. I'm putting Pho 79 alongside the "WTF??" places such as Pinks, Tito's Tacos, and other overrated "institutions" that thrive solely on faded fame of their past.
Incidentally, I find that the broth over at Pho So 1 in Van Nuys, near where I live, is much more flavorful. Is it the best? I don't know. But beats the pants off of Pho 79 any day.
That reminds me of once we went to a Thai restaurant in Glendale. I went to the register to pay for the meal (which I did) and then my friend and I went on to buy some pastries that were at the counter. The SAME GUY that I paid told me that I did not pay for the meal. I told him I did. He decided to argue. Based on principal alone, I made him stand there and count out his whole register and then he realized that I had paid (like you, I knew exactly how much cash I had in my purse). However, we got no apology. Thus, we never went back.
Regarding the Pho 79, I am a big fan - however, I only go to the one in Alhambra and have never had a problem. I thoroughly enjoy their food - love their Vietnamese Ham Bahn Mi. Delish!
I highly advocate "Pho Western" at 5th & Western in Koreatown. I feel that it's a superior product to
Pho 79, although it's still not as good as some of the pho in San Francisco.