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Indochine disappoints

  • c

Sorry to report that the food at the new Indochine in Atwater seemed tired and flavorless. The fried spring rolls weren't too bad, but the beef stew was fatty and bland, the pork chops were dry and bland, and the bun noodles were gummy and bland. Maybe the pho is better, as some posters have reported, but after that dinner I'm not sure I'll feel like returning. And as Slowfoodie pointed out, if you're going to offer bahn mi, why not have some other flavors besides the cold cuts?

Link: http://eatingla.blogspot.com/

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  1. Not sure if it is a sister restaurant of the Indochine in Pasadena, but I am not a fan of that location.

    12 Replies
    1. re: WildSwede

      I have to disagree with all of you. The food is excellent and I'm in total agreement with Irene Virbala's review in Today's Time. The beef pho is by far the best.

      1. re: GusStop

        I'm more curious to see what Jonathan Gold or Linda Burum think of this place.

      2. re: WildSwede

        It's not the same. I went to the Indochine in Atwater and enjoyed it. I went to the one in Pasadena and regretted it. I have a feeling they are unrelated to one another. The menus were different, and the food was different. The service was also different. I would go back to the one in Atwater. I would not go back to the one in Pas.

        1. re: katkoupai

          Also, I had the beef pho soup (with everything in it) and the sour lemonade soda, plus fresh spring rolls. That's usually what I order when I go for pho.

          1. re: katkoupai

            I order the exact same thing - except I only go for the Pho Tai (with the rare beef)!

            1. re: WildSwede

              Great. :) I usually dine solo, so it's cool to know someone, somewhere is ordering the exact same thing. :)

              1. re: katkoupai

                That's funny - me too!! Usally the hankering comes on suddenly and I don't want to call around to see who wants to join me, so I just go! To Pho 79! We should meet there!! ;-)

        2. re: WildSwede

          i second that. tried indochine in pasadena once and wasn't impressed AT ALL.

          1. re: WildSwede

            I've never been thrilled or amazed by anything I've had at Indochine in Pasadena (bûn, mostly), and it's more expensive than most of the pho joints, but it's always been reliably good, and the service and environment have both always been friendly and pleasant.

            1. re: Will Owen

              did we ever establish whether the Pasadena location has the same owners as the Atwater location?

              1. re: Chowpatty

                Hi, Chowpatty, I still think the Atwater location and the Pasadena location are different. Reasons why: 1) the food seemed different in taste and quality, 2) one is called Indochine, the other is called Indochine Vien, 3) Indochine Vien in Atwater has a website, www.indochinevien.com/ , and I don't think Indochine in Pasadena is listed on that website (nor does it have one of its own). I suppose the next step would be to ask the owners at both restaurants if there is any relation between the two places. :)

          2. I bought some takeout from here, and I'm sorry to have to say that I, too, am not inspired to return. The soup in the pho was bland, and my friend's bun was a goopy mess. Its a pity - I had high hopes for this place.

            1. I think the place is so inferior when compared to PHO on Sunset or Pho 79 in Chinatown. Unfortunately Indochine in Atwater chose style over substance.

              1. Funny someone should revive this thread, as I've actually returned several times since I originally trashed the place. I find the chicken pho comforting on a cold night, and not as tasteless as Pho Cafe on Sunset, although I haven't been back there in a long time.

                11 Replies
                1. re: Chowpatty

                  Even though I work a few blocks from Pho Cafe I drive all the way to Blue Hen in Eagle Rock for a Pho Ga fix at lunch. Tried Pho Cafe 2x, that was enough, 'tasteless' is a spot on description and I can't understand the masses that seem to love the place.

                  Anyway, thanks for the heads'up cuz Indochine sure is a lot closer than Blue Hen! I will give it a try.

                  1. re: cobalt

                    I went to Blue Hen once. I thought it was expensive for pho, and they used organic chicken only (no beef), so the soup I usually get had none of the funky stuff that I like in it (beef, brisket, tripe, tendon, etc.). I thought it was a cute restaurant, but I prefer Saigon Noodle in Old Pas.

                    1. re: katkoupai

                      Finally got to Indochine Vien today. The Pho Ga was quite good I thought, although to me the stock was slightly lacking in depth in comparison to Blue Hen. That said, my best friend disagreed with that assessment, prefferring I/V over B/H. And, I have to say I/V is a much better value as it's cheaper to begin with plus they are much more generous with sprouts, basil and even the chicken itself.

                      We had some chicken/shrimp combo spring rolls w/ peanut sauce and they were pretty good as well. We'll be back.

                      Regarding funky Pho,,, beef, brisket, tripe, tendon, etc., sorry, but I'm just 'chicken'.

                      1. re: cobalt

                        Yeah, I guess "funky" is the wrong word, because that's just the normal combo pho (i.e., tendon, trip, beef, brisket is normal for the combo). :-)

                        I thought Blue Hen was cute, but overpriced, and I thought the pho at Indochine Vien was more authentic, although a little watered down (I agree with you on that, cobalt).

                        I had a problem with the whole "organic chicken" motif at Blue Hen. It seemed like the Whole Foods of pho to me. Maybe it works for them, though.

                        On that note, I went to Saigon Noodle in Old Pasadena again today (my local spot for pho here in Pasadena), and it was pretty good. Service is never great, but the food is good, and cheaper than Blue Hen, and comparable to Indochine Vien in Atwater.

                        I'm just glad there are a few options close to home. Thanks for the feedback, too. :)

                        1. re: katkoupai

                          I'll have to try real pho, I guess. Funny, I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to Japanese, but I've always had a problem with the concept and imagined texture of tripe (never tried it actually,) and tendon, well that just doesn't sound terribly appetizing.

                          I will try Saigon Noodle, I'm in Pasadena too. Do they have pho ga? ; )

                          thx!

                          1. re: cobalt

                            Sometimes I don't eat the tripe. I went to Saigon Flavor in San Gabriel and the amount of tripe and tendon was way too much for me. Large, rugged, pieces. I couldn't swing it. You can order the soup with or without certain ingredients, though.

                            Re. Saigon Noodle in Pasadena, I don't know if they have pho ga. I always order the same thing: combo beef pho, hot tea or fresh lemonade, and usually a pair of spring rolls. If I find their menu, I will post the link for you, cobalt.

                            1. re: katkoupai

                              Indochine pales in comparison to any place in Koreatown

                              1. re: Fat Billie

                                Hi, Fat Billie, I haven't eaten much pho in K-town, but I have seen a number of pho establishments there, recently. I usually either just drive through K-town to get home, take the freeway, or once in a while, I get Korean food there.

                                Where do you like to go for pho in K-town? Maybe I can check it out some time. Thanks. :)

                            2. re: cobalt

                              I am looking at Saigon's menu right now and they do have Pho Ga. Like kat, I agree that the service is not that great, but the Pho is passable (although not as good as Pho 79). They used to have a very sweet girl working there, but seems she has left. The owners (or older ladies) are quite sullen, but they will get you what you ask for. My order is always Pho Tai, Spring Rolls and Fresh Lemon with soda. Yum~

                              1. re: WildSwede

                                regarding the pho ga at the place on sunset: when they serve it to you they give you this little bowl of garlic stuff to dip the chicken in I just dump the little bowl into the soup and it corrects the flavoring of the broth. not authentic but good when you don't want to drive too far.

                                1. re: mkleeh

                                  WildSwede, thanks for finding the pho ga info on the Saigon Noodle menu. I couldn't find it online. :)

                                  mkleeh, I have never had the garlic stuff that you wrote about at any pho place, but it does sound tasty. :)