Convoy New Restaurants
Haven't seen much (if any) talk about Convoy changes recently. Have noticed a couple new places popup and wanted to see what people think:
- Nam Am Vietnamese restaurant (http://www.yelp.com/biz/nam-an-vietna...) in the same strip mall as China Max/Spicy City. Seems they don't have any official website yet. Couple of the reviews mention handmade noodles in the pho which sounds promising.
- Koon Thai Kitchen (http://www.koonthaikitchen.com). Read a review from Kirk a few weeks ago and he didn't sound too impressed. Looks pretty americanized but was wondering if maybe they have a couple standout dishes.
- Reopening of Luong Hai Ky where Phat was (their original location). Never really understood how Phat and LHK were related but it definitely seemed they had a connection. Perhaps same owner wanting to try out a different menu that failed? In any case LHK is back. I wonder how the quality is compared to the Mira Mesa location.
Luong Hai Ky Restaurant
4633 Convoy St Ste 107, San Diego, CA 92111
According to the waiter at LHK on Convoy, the owners of LHK wanted to try something different, so they tried the Phat concept through its two renditions (boiled chicken and then Vietnamese buffet). I think the quality at the LHK on Convoy is at least as good as the MM location of the few things I've tried.
Had a chance to try Nam Am over the weekend. Bullet points are:
- Ambience is nice and modern, much more classy than most other pho places in the area (on par with Pho Mignon + Grill).
- Prices are comparable to Pho Convoy and Pho T Cali.
- Meat quality seems to be a notch above the previously mentioned places. Both in the sliced beef in the pho and the grilled pork chop.
- Noodles are supposedly handmade. They are wider than the standard pho shop noodles and had a nice chew to them.
- Pho broth is on the weak side.
- Pork chop/ steamed egg meatloaf was also on the bland side.
The staff is very nice and friendly and most of them seem to speak english. Will definitely return to try the special appetizer menu which contains the more authentic Vietnamese dishes.
Pho T Cali Restaurant
7351 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111
4647 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111
It's been a few years since I've been to Pho Ca Dao so it's hard for me to compare. I don't remember the broth being particularly weak at Pho Ca Dao. In any case the broth at Nam Am was probably one of the lighter ones I've had anywhere around SD, very sparse on the fat/oil and was pretty one note without the addition of any of the condiments. Perhaps they are following the style of Pho Mignon by trying to make the broth more "healthy" by removing most of the oil.
Pho Ca Dao Restaurant
8373 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92126
You can ask for extra fat/oil from any pho restaurant and they should bring it out for free. If the broth itself is too thin though, no amount of fat/oil will help.
The broth at Pho Mignon isn't thin in the sense of flavor, but it definitely tastes like it is missing the "comfort food" quality of pho. Adding the fat/oil just to their broth just brings back that "comfort food" quality (but doesn't really add much flavor).
I went to LHK a couple weeks ago. The place looks more or less the same as it did before. Had the garlic pork chop and the noodle soup. Like MikeC reported the quality seems to be more or less the same as the MM location.
Also I noticed there is a new fusion place called Coconut Tree that opened in the Tapioca Express strip mall (aka worst strip mall to find parking in ever) where Crepe World was/is. Seems that they divided up the space that Crepe World used to have into two restaurants, perhaps it's the same owners? Reviews on yelp seem to be mixed for Coconut Tree. Has anyone been there?
I had read that Liang's Kitchen was opening a location in San Diego. It's a taiwanese chain with various locations in CA. I read on Kirbie's blog that they had taken over the space next to Tajima on Convoy. I thought they wouldn't be open for another few weeks at least but we happened to be thinking about eating at Tajima and to my surprise they were open! I guess they soft opened yesterday with their grand opening scheduled for next week sometime.
They seem to be working out the kinks in their service as expected but they were attentive enough and the mistakes were minor. The food quality was excellent and on par with their Irvine location. Definitely nice to know there is another good Chinese option in the area, as I feel SD severely lacks in good Chinese food options.