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Best Pho in LA?

  • n

Looking for the best pho in la?

Any suggestions?

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  1. d
    Dinos Burgers

    There is no good pho in LA. Apparently according to chowsters here only in the San Gabriel Valley. But it';s to much to drive 20min+ for a $5 bowl of soup i you ask me.

    Good luck, if you find somewhere that doesn't suck 100%. please let us know as we are searching.

    Pho Hoa = wilted sides, bad broth
    Pho LA = bad broth, bad service
    Pho Western = over priced, not good
    Pho 79 = Stole my sell phone when I went pee (only one in restaraunt)

    12 Replies
    1. re: Dinos Burgers

      Have to say I'm rather new to this, but Pho Hua and a place whose name I don't remember in the SGV are tied for my favorite pho so far. My sides at PH have never been less than fresh, and I adore the broth. Divergent tastes or dissimilar experiences, who knows?

      Do NOT understand being unwilling to "drive 20 min+ for a $5 bowl of soup"! There have been many occasions when we've driven an hour or more each way for a decent meal, both lunch and supper, and we'll cheerfully do it again. Or take the Gold Line to Chinatown for lunch. Is this the Chowdilettantes Board or what?

      1. re: Will Owen

        I like Pho Dac Biet at Golden Deli.

        1. re: Jay

          Where is the Golden Deli??

          1. re: curious

            West Las Tunas at Mission Drive, San Gabriel, NW corner. Biggish strip mall, several other very nice restaurants in there too. Mobbed on weekends. Vietnam House, w/ same ownership and much of the same food (and less of a crowd!) is in another mall catty-cornered across the street. Highly recommended.

            1. re: Will Owen

              i'm a pho 999 regular (very regular) and over the weekend i had pho so 1 on reseda at sherman way. i'll admit that the first spoonful of soup was better than that of pho 999. much more flavorful. but halfway into the bowl, i felt that there was too much msg in the soup, to the point that i couldn't enjoy it. my friends agreed. i don't think i have a low threshold for msg; i eat ramen, korean soups, etc just fine. this soup left us parched and thirsting for water hours later.

              that said, the best pho i've had in socal (to expand the scope of this thread) was in san diego at pho hoa cali.

              1. re: Will Owen

                I'd agree with this recommendation (I'm vietnamese, and I'm sure ppl will get tired of me saying this). Go to Vietnam House though... wait is almost non-existant. Probably some of the best pho with out having to drive down to Westminster (which just smells like Pho as you drive in!!!)

                1. re: Das Foodie

                  Sorry Das Foodie for tailgating you, but I'd have to disagree on the Golden Deli. Tried GD, cuz I heard so much about this place, but was a bit dissapointed on the authenticity and the depth of the broth. (Not saying that it was bad, but I don't think it's the "Best Pho in LA".
                  I am also Vietnamese, and IMO I think that most people have not really experienced a true authentic bowl of Pho, and therefore dont' know.

                  I'm gonna have to mention Pho 79 again (made a post above about Banh Xeo), because I think they rock in the Pho department also. BF and I go there at least three times a week, and he gets the Pho every single time. Pho chin bo vien and lots of Gan (Pho, with brisket, tendon beef balls, and tendons). Pho, and Banh Hoi Cha Gio Thit Nuong (Flat vermicelli noodle cake, with egg rolls, and BBQ pork) are the dishes we always order plus a new dish off the beaten path. What's great is the total always comes out to be under $20 for three dishes, a glass of fresh orange juice, and tip.

                2. re: Will Owen
                  Mr. Bigglesworth

                  Wanted to see what the hubbub was about on Golden Deli, so I fought for a parking spot like at Costco on a Saturday morning. Got my seat at the restaurant, and MAN was I hungry. This usually means that what ever I eat tastes so splendid. I looked around the restaurant and at my table so I could get myself ready to grub I then noticed that there were forks on the table something that I have never ever seen before at a pho restaurant before that was my first warning sign I then looked around and realized that there were no vietnamese faces at all in the restaurant, and I'm sorry but when I go to what I think is a real ethnic restaurant and I don't see the type of ethnic people eating there that the food represents then usually you my friend are in the wrong restaurant or one that is forced by its demographics of customer to cater to the watered down version of the original recipes. Luckily the waiter was vietnamese and got my order I got the usual pho dac biet plus a chinese doughnut with sweetened hot soy milk I was very hungry at this point and really looking forward to my food. service was pretty good despite it being so crowded I was trippin though because there so many chinese people and mexicans and whites I myself am japanese and have dated all manner of different asians and other races but most asians can tell the difference between the different facial characteristics of different asian ethnicities, anyways my point being when I want bomb ass indian food I go to little india or to korea town for korean food etc.... but if I went there and saw a predomince of not indians in a restaurant or koreans in that restaurant then something is fishy, well i got the food and the chinese doughnut was good, a little on the soft side though but still good,but the pho was very dissapointing it was lacking in the umami dept. maybe they didn't use enough bones to make the broth or used just salt to make it salty instead of nuoc mam to me it was just mediocre not bad but certainly not good and certainly not the best pho in L.A I love pho 79 On Garfield and Main its cheep great and they actually have an A from the health dept. at least for right now, although I have had some pretty good chinese food at restaurants with a B maybe its adds flavor anyway I hope this post doesn't bring hordes of people to make my wait to long at my beloved pho 79 because I will bite when hungry beware of Mr. Bigglesworth

                  1. re: Mr. Bigglesworth

                    Will have to try Pho 79. It's been on my list, but I just haven't gotten around to it.


                    1. re: Mr. Bigglesworth

                      What happened to punctuation and sentence structure on the last half of the post?

                      It got real difficult to read at the end.

                      1. re: AW
                        Mr. Bigglesworth

                        Sorry, I was weak without my usual pho intake and it was late for me when I wrote it.

            2. re: Dinos Burgers

              I highly recommend Saigon Dish at 15725 Hawthorne Blvd in Lawndale. Btwn W 156th St & Manhattan Beach Blvd. It's the best Pho I've had anywhere in LA. Their broth, meat and condiments are all excellent and top quality ingredients. Also they have great service to boot. Prices are around $6-8 for a soup. This is a small place in strip mall but they make every effort to accomodate people as quickly as possible.

            3. So Pho 1 in the Valley (Sepulveda and Victory). Technically, its L.A. (county).

              1. d
                Das Ubergeek

                I'm going to say it's at Pho So 1, on Sepulveda and Victory in Van Nuys.

                Westside and Mid-City are hopeless, pho-wise -- either Korean-style, which I don't like, or completely Americanised.

                1. Pho Hoa in Chinatown. It's cheaper and better than Pho 79.

                  1. If looking in SGV-ish area:

                    Pho Hien Mai
                    Address: 9805 Garvey Ave, El Monte, CA 91733
                    Phone: (626) 575-2722

                    1. NIck, try Benley. $9 for pho.

                      Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen
                      (562) 596-8130
                      8191 E Wardlow Rd
                      Long Beach, CA

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: brentbacher

                        For $9, it better be the best pho! =P

                      2. Although I know the general rec is to drive out to Golden Deli in the SGV or to Little Saigon in Long Beach, it's too much of a drive at 11 at night when I'm hungry for some Pho. In those instances, I hit Koreatown and Pho 4000 and 2000 are the best IMO.

                        Pho 2000 is speedy service, good oxtail Pho, cash only and open til 2a(3a?) IIRC
                        Pho 4000 is pretty much the same, (though they never come back to fill my water after the initial glass...) and open 'til 4a

                        Pho Western is ... well Pho Western. Not good (not awful either when you're drunk) Open 24 hours

                        Pho LA (6th St) takes cards, and leaves a whole pitcher of water for you (Solves the disapearing Waiter phenomenon)

                        Pho 5.5 (on Western near the BCBD Tofu House) and Pho 36 (used to be "What the Pho" on Western south of Olympic) Both of these didn't have the greatest quality meat.
                        Pho Viet (on Vermont, north of third, same mini-mall as GOOD HA) was VERY SALTY.
                        Pho Saigon (next to Kyo Chon on 6th) was nice, average Pho and had a ton of other dishes besides Pho and is open til 4a. But the parking is ASS until much later at night (after 12a in my experience...)

                        Branching out...
                        Pho Cafe (on Sunset in Silver Lake) is hipster central but serves serviciable Pho for that Neighborhood.

                        Pho 999 (North Hollywood) is pretty good! i wasn't expecting much from the SFV but it worked even if it was on the salty side. Takes cards.

                        Blue Hen (Eagle Rock) Good chicken Pho!

                        Gingergrass (Silver Lake) You're paying for the atmosphere here (which IS nice but pushes the prices up. The quality of the meat is good though.

                        that's my uneducated $.02

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: JackonCrack

                          Sorry, gotta disagree with you there. Pho in koreatown is a losing battle.

                          I tried to order in vietnamese and the waiter gave me a blank stare. I should've known right then and there.

                          1. re: ns1

                            Pho 4000 is the only one that's Viet-owned, unless things have changed at other establishments. Not that it's on par with the stuff in SGV or Little Saigon, but Ktown is often more convenient than SGV and certainly more convenient than OC.

                            I love it when we resurrect old threads! It makes me wonder what the OP is up to these days.

                            1. re: ns1

                              haha..when I ordered in pho in vietnamese at most of the NYC joints they stare blankly too..so where do you go in LA for vietnamese? I'm familiar with the OC area restaurants, but am going to be moving to the los feliz area next month..

                              1. re: hppzz

                                I go to the SGV or back to the OC lol

                                The wifey's from SGV and I'm from OC so it works out well enough. I'd rather eat no pho than bad pho.

                                I'm pretty americanized, so the waiters always give me an odd look when I start speaking to them in vietnamese

                                1. re: ns1

                                  yeah, amen to that...or i'll try to make my own and freezing the broth...that would be my solution if gas is too high to drive to SVG/OC! hehe

                                  New to Chowhound and LA so looking forward to reading your posts and exploring all the good eats in LA/OC/SGV soon.

                                  1. re: hppzz

                                    I find LA itself to be pretty desolate in terms of vietnamese cuisine. Try to find a good cup of cafe sua da around here, freaking impossible. Good thing for me though as I now buy the coffee mail order from a vietnamese coffee distributor and make it fresh myself every morning. for like, 40 cents a cup!

                                2. re: hppzz

                                  You can definitely order in Vietnamese at Pho 79 in Alhambra. On Garfield just south of Main. They have the best Pho Tai (and chargrilled pork Pho) IMHO. Welcome!

                            2. Pho 87 Restaurant
                              1019 N Broadway
                              Los Angeles, CA 90012-1405
                              Phone: (323) 227-0758

                              Big shout out for this gem downtown: we believe healing properties exist in their broth. Seriously. We order the small pho Thai, lick the bowl clean and are stuffed. Fresh ingredients, deliciousness abounds. They only accept cash and have no booze, wee drawbacks to my way of thinking for such delicious soup.

                              1 Reply
                              1. In reading these responses, one could come to the conclusion that there is no good pho outside of the SGV. I have some Vietnamese friends who say there is excellent pho in Orange County...I don't recall where they recommended, and I'll have to go back and get this info. Do any CH's out there think there is really good pho anywhere in OC?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: josephnl

                                  pho thanh lich, pho 79

                                  nobody mentioned any OC pho because this is a thread about LA pho

                                  1. re: josephnl

                                    Given that the thread topic is "Best Pho in LA"...

                                    If you're looking for the Best Pho in OC, you should probably check out or bump this thread:

                                    1. re: josephnl

                                      Sure. Pho Thanh Lich, Pho 79, Pho 86. Every time someone posts about pho in LA and we post OC recommendations we get snarked at about "I don't want to drive all the way down to Westminster just for a $5 bowl of pho."

                                    2. What I can NOT recommend is Pho 99 on Wilshire by Brentwood/Santa Monica. It's so expensive. They charge you for getting your steak on the side instead of in the broth (so that you can cook it yourself and determine how cooked you want it to be). It was insane that between my boyfriend and I, we spent almost 25 bucks on two bowls of pho, and the worst part? It wasn't even that spectacular, not even close to justifying the price tag (except, I guess, for the fact that it's in Brentwood ...)

                                      Pho Hoa is terrible. Hands down. The broth tastes like sweat socks. The noodles don't even taste right. I mean, it's a chain pho restaurant, but no matter which Pho Hoa I've gone to, it's all been equally craptastic (I love it when I go to one that definitely isn't run by Vietnamese people and try to order in Vietnamese). I have made a promise to myself to never resort to PH.

                                      And Koreatown pho is not real pho, IMO. I've eaten at a couple places and have been both bewildered and somewhat amused at their interpretation of the dish. Unless, of course, you feel like Korean-style pho--then by all means, go for it! (I know I sometimes crave Del Taco taco over a taqueria taco--but only sometimes)

                                      So, I'd have to go with the few voices here that recommend SGV. Or, if you're closer, I would say the Valley has some good pho ... I think. It's been awhile since I've gone, though. Pho So Mot (#1 Pho, ha ha) in Van Nuys and Reseda if the drive to SGV is that much worse.

                                      And, who knows where Mr. Bigglesworth is now, but forks in a Vietnamese restaurant actually isn't uncommon--it's for plated rice dishes, such as com tam suong nuong (broken rice with pork chop), so seeing them in a Vietnamese restaurant shouldn't be cause for alert :)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: meloncollie

                                        "What I can NOT recommend is Pho 99 on Wilshire by Brentwood/Santa Monica. It's so expensive."

                                        I wish I read this post before I went to Pho 99, very disappointing to say the least.

                                      2. Just make sure the place has a rating of "B" or better yet "C". I have yet to enjoy good pho in a place that garners an "A" from any health department. This rule of thumb, I learned from my Vietnamese sorority sister... and have found it a good one to live by.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: torimo

                                          I agree wholeheartedly! As nasty as it sounds, this is a conclusion I arrived upon when I was a little kid :D