I just returned to Los Angeles from a vacation in Southeast Asia, and yet my first meal back in America is Vietnamese. I just can't stay away from Asian food. I came to this Pho restaurant because my friends highly recommended it. But somehow, I just feel that the Vietnamese food here isn't too authentic. The food is not bad, but not great. Vietnamese Cuisine in Toms River NJ and Mrs. A Hanoi Pho here in this area both have much better Phos than this place. The broth in Mrs. A Hanoi Pho tasted a lot more flavorful with no sensation of MSG. Meanwhile, the spring rolls in Vietnamese Cuisine back in Toms River just tasted a lot better because the carrot and daikon julienne in the spring rolls were pickled and seasoned, and Vietnamese Cuisine in Toms River NJ also used mint leaves inside the spring rolls for the greens, instead of purely lettuce. Meanwhile, the spring rolls I had in this restaurant ($5.99 as shown in photo) tasted pretty bland to me. Yes, I used a lot of the peanut sauce on them, but the absence of pickled and seasoned veggies, and the absence of mint leaves inside the rolls really water down the flavor quite a lot.
The House Combo Pho (Beef Brisket, Half a Beef Ball and some Tendons, $7.99 for a large bowl) in this place was totally dependent on my own addition of a lot of Hoisin Sauce and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. I normally don't like to add these sauces into my Pho. It's because in a good Pho place, the broth is the soul, which takes many many hours to slow cook and lots and lots of ingredients to churn out the broth. I prefer to enjoy such richly flavorful broth as is without ruining it with the Hoisin Sauce and Sriracha Sauce which should be, in my opinion reserved to be used in water, not a great quality Pho broth of labor. I always prefer my Pho to be in a slow cooked broth that is so flavorful that no extra sauce is needed. I think the Pho at this place is just too bland for my palate, it's not a bad place to go for some simple and affordable lunch and dinner on a busy workday. I personally just like Mrs. A Hanoi Pho much better even though the price there is higher. You get what you pay for. The difference is clearly shown in the broth. And I do miss Vietnamese Cuisine back in Toms River NJ, which is the only restaurant I miss from that area.
1945 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA 90717
Lomita, CA 90717
Tel: (424) 263-5989