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Jun 13, 2013 01:01 PM

Foraging faux rage for Phorage?

If you liked (or disliked) ROC Kitchen's take on SGV Chinese, you'll probably like (or dislike) chef/owner Perry Cheung's new Vietnamese restaurant opening in the old Chego space on Overland...

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  1. You mention ROC, Chego, and the cutesy pun-ny name of a Vietnamese place all in the same sentence? For me, that is death.... culinary black death....

    6 Replies
    1. re: ilysla

      It wasn't supposed to inspire confidence! ;-) This doesn't inspire much either:

      >>> "Each Vietnamese restaurant in Orange County has a different speciality," the chef told us. "I'm trying to tie all those restaurants together and get a piece of each one that everybody likes."

      1. re: PeterCC

        To quote one PeterCC regarding this: "Jack of all trades, master of none." I have a feeling you're going to be right about this...

        1. re: chrishei

          That's precisely what I thought, too. I'm always suspicious of pan-Asian places, and even trying be all-inclusive of one type of cuisine arouses suspicion.

          I walked *BY* Slanted Door in SF once, but there was some reason my friend and I didn't try it (either price or perhaps it was packed?).

          Of course, perhaps I'm being negative for no good reason. Perhaps this'll be similar to Lukshon (which would be lovely). However, I just can't get the taste and texture of the overly sticky XLB skins at ROC out of my mind....

          I'll be interested in seeing what posters think about the place, although I must admit I have no desire to be first in line....

          1. re: ilysla

            I think we may not be the target audience anyway. There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to provide a variety of good (and hopefully great) dishes even if none of them are standouts.

            Your mentioning of Lukshon is interesting. Unlike sister (brother?) restaurant Father's Office (father restaurant?), known for its burgers (love 'em or hate 'em), is Lukshon known for ONE dish? (Not rhetorical, I don't actually know.)

            Is Tar & Roses or FIG known for one particular dish? (That IS a rhetorical question.) No, yet those are well respected places. I'm playing devil's advocate against myself a little here, but there's not exactly a plethora of Vietnamese restaurants on the Westside, so maybe he'll bring something new, and hopefully good, to the table...

            1. re: PeterCC

              In the case of Lukshon, it even covers multiple Asian cuisines, but doesn't really cross multiple ones for each dish, and the food is well-conceptualized and executed IMO.

              Plus, Pho Citi opened during my last months at UCLA *goosebumps*, and it was a HOT spot. Same with Nongla with it first opened. People are still seek the Westside Viet Holy Grail...

              1. re: PeterCC

                Bingo !!!!!

                Most restaurants are not single-handedly supported by hounds.

                We are the few, the strong, the eccentric.

                (ok, maybe I'll just speak for myself on that one).

      2. So, has anyone actually tried it?

        8 Replies
        1. re: aching

          Yes. It was okay... but they missed MAJOR points (kinda like ROC)...

          * Pho needed fish sauce. REALLY. All it took was a couple of shakes of fish sauce (Which was found no where on the table!) and it was pretty good. It was hillarious though that we had to ask for it (They seem to use that fancy red boat stuff... which might be why they don't add enough or finish with it) and we aren't fish sauce fiends either... actually perfer our salt and umami levels on the even side...

          * They short you on the Bun Noodles. Isn't like Rice Noodles like the cheapest thing EVER!!! My bowl of bun had a tiny little sprig.. Ugh. I've been having Bun noodles all over recently and in terms of actual amount of noodles, this was absolutely laughable...

          On the plus side, We REALLY liked their fried spring rolls. 1000x Better than those musky ones at Pho Show.

          Honestly though, compared to Pho Sho, 5i and Super Pho, it's the best place in the neighborhood for Pho (Not Bun) . Although we'll still drive down to Saigon Dish in Gardena more often tha not...


          1. re: Dommy

            Did you like the Pho at 5i? The noodles were a bit too mushy and overlooked for me. Same went for their dim sum, over steamed and waterlogged.

            1. re: PeterCC

              Not at all.... I thought their Dim Sum is okay. The Bun is better at 5i...


              1. re: Dommy

                Oops I misread your last paragraph in your previous comment.

          2. re: aching

   need to go back. pho broth was weak. needed clove and star anise. the meat was good though.
            spring rolls were just ok.. nothing great, and came with a thick, sweet sauce. not the ngoc cham i wanted. and although a minor complaint, the sauce bowl was so small that I couldn't get the darn spring roll in there to dip it. it was annoying.

            of the westside viet options, i still think nong la is your best bet. i really like their com dishes with a fried egg and a side of pho broth.

            1. re: aching

              It was ok. Broth wasn't very well-developed. I actually tasted mostly star anise in my pho. And although Nongla's broth is fairly tame as well, I feel that their broth is much more true to form. And Nongla's pho is actually a couple of dollars cheaper too. I still think Phorage can be an asset to the westside (and EaterLA is on their nuts at the moment), but I'm not in a hurry to go back.

              1. re: chrishei

                LOL! Three comments on their Broth and all very different.. sounds like they need to get some consistency going... at least my problem was fixed with a few splashes of fish sauce...

                I agree that NongLa's broth is very weak. Sonia is absolutely right in that their Com dishes are the way to go... although I have yet to try their Bun... Thank GAWD for their new online ordering system, I'll have to pay a visit to them this week for lunch...


                1. re: chrishei

                  Concur. Maybe I am spoiled by the options down in Orange County or perhaps it was because I was there the day of one of the food festivals in which Phorage was participating (LuckyRice) but I found the broth underwhelming. I would also have liked a third type of beef such as meat ball to offer a bit more contrast in texture. I did like the Imperial roll quite a bit, though.