My Thursday Lunch

October 14, 2010

Vietnamese Soup – Friend or Pho?

Filed under: Vietnamese — brucedumes @ 2:35 pm

Of course purists will be quick to point out that it really should be not be pronounced so that it sounds like “foe”. It should rhyme with “duh”. But that doesn’t stop a plethora of new Pho restaurants in LA using Pho in a cutesy way in the name. Today I had lunch at one such place, Simply Pho You, in Koreatown.

Simply Pho You is in a little corner mall thingy, and has the usual limited LA parking with spaces meant for the size of a Yugo being taken up by minivans. I happen to drive a small car, so I speak with righteous indignation at the evil minivans. In truth, it’s not the minivans themselves that I hate, it is the people who can’t drive and especially the people who can’t park that drive me crazy. People: the rule is “One space per person”, OK?

Once inside, the world gets a little calmer. No TVs or dance music playing, just people eating and waiting for food. They do have stuff besides pho, of course, but being it’s my first time there I have to try the pho. Plus, I’m eating by myself, so it’s not like I can order a bunch of dishes to share.

I ordered the “Rare Steak with Flank” pho. At $5.99 for almost all of the phos, it’s easy to love the prices!

I love how they give you the side things you can add in: bean sprouts, thai basil, lime, and sliced hot peppers. I love ‘em all. Some people don’t like thai basil, but I think it’s fab and gear.

This place also gives you the sliced onions without you having to ask specially, like I’ve seen in some other pho places. If you haven’t seen these, or haven’t known what to do with them, the traditional thing is to take some oyster sauce (a thick brown kind of sweet sauce, also used in Chinese cooking) and Sriracha hot sauce and squirt them over the onions and mix ‘em up. It may sound weird, but it tastes great.

The pho is, I must say, very lovely. Pho has a very light broth by definition, but this broth had all of these wonderfully rich undertones of meat, ginger, cloves, anise and cinnamon. Being that this was in K-Town, most people thought thought the soup was a tad wimpy and were pouring a half bottle of Sriracha into it. That’s ok, I guess, but I thought it was perfect just as it was. The subtle flavors would have simply vanished with the introduction of anything else, aside from the requisite sprouts, thai basil, lime juice and peppers.

All in all, a wonderfully satisfying lunch at a very easy to swallow price! Highly recommended.

Simply Pho You
698 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005

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