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Pho-Licious - Delicious Pho in Arcadia

WildSwede Nov 9, 2011 05:10 PM

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. d
    dreamcast18 RE: WildSwede Nov 11, 2011 01:14 AM

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

    7 Replies
    1. re: dreamcast18
      Johnny L RE: dreamcast18 Nov 11, 2011 07:54 AM

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

      1. re: Johnny L
        WildSwede RE: Johnny L Nov 11, 2011 10:05 AM

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

      2. re: dreamcast18
        FattyDumplin RE: dreamcast18 Dec 13, 2011 01:19 PM

        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
          Peripatetic RE: FattyDumplin Dec 13, 2011 01:50 PM

          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
            WildSwede RE: FattyDumplin Dec 13, 2011 01:54 PM

            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
              FattyDumplin RE: WildSwede Dec 13, 2011 09:56 PM


              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
                WildSwede RE: FattyDumplin Dec 14, 2011 04:50 PM

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

        2. WildSwede RE: WildSwede Nov 17, 2011 10:44 AM

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

          1. Peripatetic RE: WildSwede Dec 12, 2011 02:13 AM

            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
              suvro RE: Peripatetic Dec 12, 2011 11:08 AM

              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
                suvro RE: suvro Dec 14, 2011 03:11 PM

                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
                WildSwede RE: Peripatetic Dec 13, 2011 01:15 PM

                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
                  Peripatetic RE: WildSwede Dec 13, 2011 01:42 PM

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

                  1. re: Peripatetic
                    WildSwede RE: Peripatetic Dec 13, 2011 01:54 PM

                    Huh, interesting! Weren't they soggy?

                    1. re: WildSwede
                      Peripatetic RE: WildSwede Dec 13, 2011 02:02 PM

                      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.

                      1. re: Peripatetic
                        WildSwede RE: Peripatetic Dec 13, 2011 05:45 PM

                        Hey, as long as you like it! ;-)

                2. re: Peripatetic
                  WildSwede RE: Peripatetic Dec 15, 2011 01:17 PM

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

                  1. re: WildSwede
                    Peripatetic RE: WildSwede Dec 15, 2011 01:59 PM

                    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. c
                  calpurnia RE: WildSwede Dec 12, 2011 11:27 AM

                  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. re: calpurnia
                    WildSwede RE: calpurnia Dec 13, 2011 01:15 PM

                    So glad you liked it.

                  2. f
                    FattyDumplin RE: WildSwede Jan 1, 2012 07:45 AM

                    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
                      Peripatetic RE: FattyDumplin Jan 1, 2012 09:29 AM

                      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
                        FattyDumplin RE: Peripatetic Jan 1, 2012 09:56 AM

                        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
                          ns1 RE: FattyDumplin Apr 20, 2012 03:47 PM

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

                    2. y
                      yoyo RE: WildSwede Jan 4, 2012 01:14 PM

                      I went there twice. The broth was too salty both times. The meat was real good. Good for Arcadia but not for Sgv.

                      1. WildSwede RE: WildSwede Apr 20, 2012 12:06 PM

                        I go here about once a week. It is my favorite Pho place. Now they have upped the ante - Kobe (Wagyu) beef pho. They gave me a sample when I was there last weekend and I noticed it was on the menu when I went last night (they added it on Tuesday) and thought I would spread the word.

                        It is delicious. The Kobe is sliced like the beef in Pho Tai, but that is (obviously) where the similarities end. I don't eat the regular beef that comes in most Pho Tais (order the filet mignon pho here) as I find that beef nasty. The Kobe is sweet, tender, delicious. Very, very good. Now I will definitely switch between the two when I go. You can get it either straight Kobe or Kobe with brisket (or two other options). Straight Kobe $9/bowl; Kobe & other meat $8/bowl.

                        Also, I had not been ordering their fried tofu appetizer recently as it seemed not as good to me as it was when they first opened. Found out what the culprit was. A few people were complaining it was too salty so they stopped putting it on (even though they swear they still put some on!). I could detect none, so I am sticking with my story. I have remedied the situation by stressing "please salt it" and am happy to report that it is back to how it was before. Sucks how a few whiners can ruin it for everyone!!
                        Bon appetit!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: WildSwede
                          RoxyGrl RE: WildSwede Apr 20, 2012 12:37 PM

                          I was there last night as well and am heating up my leftovers as I type this. Ate too many shrimp spring rolls and couldn't finish my entree!

                          Everything was excellent, as usual.

                          1. re: RoxyGrl
                            WildSwede RE: RoxyGrl Apr 20, 2012 12:58 PM

                            ;-) I always get an order of spring rolls to go. They wrap each one separately in saran wrap - cucumbers on the side. I place each in the microwave for 1 minute with the wrap on. Then I put them in a bowl and chop them up adding the various sauces to my liking. Weird, I know, but so delicious. The rice paper wrapper gets deliciously chewy! I do such strange things to what I eat that Ahn, one of the waiters there, once remarked to me "You teach me new ways to eat Vietnamese food - and I AM Vietnamese!!: LOL!!

                            1. re: RoxyGrl
                              SoCal Foodie RE: RoxyGrl Apr 20, 2012 01:09 PM

                              Have eaten here a couple of times and really enjoyed the filet mignon pho and the bbq pork pho. Love the sweetness of the broth. Look forward to trying the Kobe beef pho next time. However, was very disappointed with their egg rolls which have a "cardboard" taste IMO.

                              1. re: SoCal Foodie
                                WildSwede RE: SoCal Foodie Apr 20, 2012 01:12 PM

                                I wonder why that is. I know that Kristin is always there making the eggrolls. So much so that her daughter calls her the "egg roll queen". I do think that they add something that is not "traditional" in the egg rolls, but not sure what. I do not order them and have only had them a couple of times (and not recently) so I am not an expert on them. Sorry.

                          2. m
                            mikester RE: WildSwede Apr 20, 2012 03:40 PM

                            There's also one in Irvine - on Alton just south of Irvine Blvd. Not sure if they are related or not, but it's good !

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: mikester
                              WildSwede RE: mikester Apr 20, 2012 05:24 PM

                              Not related. I already asked!!

                              1. re: WildSwede
                                mikester RE: WildSwede Apr 23, 2012 11:00 AM

                                Ah, okay good to know - thanks !

                              2. re: mikester
                                Professor Salt RE: mikester Apr 24, 2012 09:13 PM

                                I tried the one in Irvine. No idea if it's related or not, but the one time I tried it, it was terrible. Horrific. Pho-riffic. Amateurish service up front, amateurish cooking in the back.

                                1. re: Professor Salt
                                  WildSwede RE: Professor Salt Apr 25, 2012 12:19 PM

                                  No relation at all.

                              3. m
                                monkumon RE: WildSwede Apr 25, 2012 08:56 PM

                                Went last night and found this to be another Americanized Pho place. Broth was tasteless except for the salt... There are so many strong options on Valley blvd that even though I live a few blocks from this place I will do the drive...ashame I was hoping for it to be good...

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