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Nov 9, 2011 05:10 PM

Pho-Licious - Delicious Pho in Arcadia

A new Vietnamese restaurant has sprouted up in Arcadia on Live Oak and 6th. Pho-Licious. This clean and nicely decorated restaurant is the newest venture from the wonderful couple (Kristin and Henry) who I first got to know when they opened the Reyn Pho on Lake in Pasadena. After they closed, they helped their niece establish Pho Lemon in Monrovia, and, now, they've opened their own place again, Pho-Licious in Arcadia.

I don't know why it has taken me so long to post about it here, but obviously the word is already out since every time I go, the place is pretty packed. They have been open about a month and I have been more than half a dozen times. Anyone who has been lurking on these boards for any amount of time knows that I am a sucker for Pho - GOOD Pho, that is. And there is some really bad Pho out there.

You don't have to worry about getting bad Pho here, this really is pho-licious! You can tell that the best quality ingredients are used as well as a lot of love. These people take pride in what they do.

They have vegetarian Pho for the non-meat eaters (along with other vegetarian options) and chicken Pho for those who don't eat red meat (or just want a chicken version). I love the filet mignon Pho. Succulent, tender beef in a delicious broth. They also have many other items on the menu - Bahn Mi, Pork Chops, Curry, Salads, Bun, etc.

I am a sucker for their spring rolls (several varieties) and their fried egg rolls (these are especially good). I can never go wrong with their fried tofu.

Service is always wonderful and friendly. Small space with 10 tables inside and tables on the outdoor patio.

If you want good Vietnamese food with a smile, this place is for you.


529 E Live Oak Ave./6th

Arcadia, CA 91007

(626) 447-5592

Tu-Th: 11am-3pm; 5pm-9pm

Fri, Sat: 11am-10pm

Call for Sunday hours

Closed Mondays

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  1. the broth is awesome...wished they had tendons. chicken curry was decent.

    7 Replies
    1. re: dreamcast18

      Finally , possibly a decent pho place in the Arcadia/Temple City area.

      1. re: Johnny L

        I know, right? Much closer to home! ;-)

      2. re: dreamcast18

        they don't have tendon? What about tripe? given teh filet mignon pho, is it fair to assume they use more fancy cuts than one would find in a traditional pho?

        1. re: FattyDumplin

          No tripe, at least on the menu.

          The beef cuts on the menu:

          - rare steak filet mignon
          - rare beef
          - braised brisket
          - braised drop-frank [sic] (assume they mean "flank")
          - meatball

          The house special pho has all of the above except for the filet mignon..

          1. re: FattyDumplin

            Hi Fatty (love your handle!). I spoke with Kristin about the fact that they don't have the tendon, tripe, etc. and she said that it is a lot of work to offer those items and they wanted to focus on what they have. Maybe if people keep asking for it, they may bend. But then, maybe not since what they offer is so good. Either way, it is a non issue for me since I am not particularly fond of those items and never order them.
            And, yes, I feel that they use better quality meat and "fancier" cuts than found at your usual Pho place. The Pho I get is made with Filet Mignon which is tender and juicy (and pounded).

            1. re: WildSwede


              Interesting, will have to try this when I visit my in-laws this holiday. I'm always suspicious of those restaurants that try to fancy up classics, like pho. But seems well-received enough to at least try.

              1. re: FattyDumplin

                NP. They don't really "fancy" up things, they just use great quality ingredients and the result is really, really good.

        2. I confirmed their Sunday hours and they are 11-9. Thanks!

          1. I finally made it here. The pho is excellent. I definitely prefer it to the pho at Golden Deli and Vietnam Restaurant, which are in my usual rotation. I wasn't a fan of the pho at The Reyn, but I think Henry and Kristin have really improved it.

            Unfortunately I'm less enthusiastic about the cha gio (minced pork egg rolls). Compared with GD's and VR's cha gio, these are sort of a home-made variety and aren't really as accomplished. I also was disappointed with the ca phe sua da (iced coffee). I think they may use non-dairy creamer rather than condensed milk, which is particularly unfortunate as they charge $3.00 (!) for it.

            The room is a big step up from the typical pho place; it's relaxed and intimate and warmer (figuratively) than the typical pho shop.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Peripatetic

              I also went there, on Friday. I had the fresh spring rolls with barbeque pork - and these were good. I also had the Pho Tai Filet - which was good, but for my personal taste, a tad undersalted.
              The one thing I noticed is their service was somewhat sloppy. It took a long time for them to get my spring roll order out, when it was sitting on the service counter. It also took a fairly long time to get attention - it was not superbusy, though most tables were occupied.
              I am going back on Wednesday with another friend to get his opinion and also try some of the other dishes.

              1. re: suvro

                Went back a second time with a friend and his Vietnamese wife. Much less crowded, perhaps since we went a little late - around 1pm. We shared the fried spring rolls - 4 to an order. Much less interesting than the ones at Vietnam House!
                I tried the rice dish with lemongrass beef. It was OK.
                It is too far from my workplace in Pasadena to go visit, but if I am there in the neighborhood, I would go again.

              2. re: Peripatetic

                Peri - Glad you got the chance to go and liked the Pho. It is definitely one of the best, in my opinion. I like their egg rolls. They are different than other places and more homey, like you said. Never had the iced coffee, so I cannot comment.
                suvro - Thank you for posting. I am not sure what was going on with the service, I have never had a problem (maybe if you sit in the last booth at the back, they will have to see you waiting!!)... hopefully it will be better tomorrow!! ;-)

                1. re: WildSwede

                  Actually, I liked the egg rolls better when they were cold from the fridge the next morning!

                  1. re: Peripatetic

                    Huh, interesting! Weren't they soggy?

                    1. re: WildSwede

                      The skins were slightly oily but still had a decent crunch.

                      NB: to the dismay of my wife, I also like cold pizza from the fridge (particularly from Mozza), so I may not be a representative sample.

                2. re: Peripatetic

                  Hi Peri, I was there last night and confirmed that they do use the condensed milk in their iced coffees. Thanks!

                  1. re: WildSwede

                    Thanks for checking. I'm not sure what was wrong, but the ca phe sua de just wasn't as good as it is at Vietnam Restaurant or Golden Deli.

                3. Went there yesterday and had the filet mignon Pho. It was very good and I look forward to going back again soon!

                  1 Reply
                  1. Finally made it the other night. But wasn't in the mood for pho, so tried the bahn mi's instead. They were pretty mediocre. The bread was not a traditional bahn mi roll, but was good enough. We had the barbque pork (nice) and lemongrass fillet (meh). The issue I had overall was that the flavors were way too muted. No cilantro, no pate / cold cuts, no mayo / sriracha and the traditional pickled daikon / carrot strips had no seasoning (typically vinegar & sugar, i think). Oh yeah, also had shredded tomato and lettuce, which I've never seen in a bahn mi. So I guess it's an ok sandwich (my BIL who's never had a bahn mi said "I'm not sure how this is all that different than subway" when he saw the lettuce and tomato), but I wouldn't call it a bahn mi, because that's a standard this sandwich can't meet...

                    I supppose I'll have to try their pho since reviews seem generally positive, but the dumbing down of the bahn mi was a big disappointment and, coupled with the non-use of traditional meats in the pho, makes me a bit skeptical.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: FattyDumplin

                      I think it's rare that pho specialists have good banh mi. I made that error one time (at Vietnam Restaurant in San Gabriel) and now know what to expect (not much). The only place I know with acceptable versions of both is Banh Mi Che Cali.

                      1. re: Peripatetic

                        I hear you... It wasn't so much the poor execution, so much as just what seemed like an "Americanization" of the sandwich. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't a bahn mi. But like I said, the pho gets good reviews and my in-laws like it, so I'll have to give it a shot.

                        1. re: FattyDumplin

                          with a name like PHO LICIOUS the americanization of dishes should not be a surprise