Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Got Pho? Here is the Best Vietnamese Noodles Place in the Valley


Let me define a few terms. By "best", I mean yummy, reasonably-priced and authentic. By "valley", I mean the San Fernando Valley. Although, I might as well have said "all of LA," knowing full well there isn't any reasonably-priced, authentic (unpretentious) restaurants on the Westside.

At the risk of being politically incorrect (but isn't political correctness so 2004?), and maybe even racist, I use a strict, mathematical "restaurant ethnic authenticity" test, based on a scientific 8: 1 ratio I made up.

For example, if you're at a Chinese restaurant and there are at least eight Asian customers to every White one, then the place is "authentic."

Also, authentic test #2. The more typos there are in the menu, the more ethnically authentic the restaurant. Last time I checked -- three typos at my favorite pho place.

Enough stalling. But at the even greater risk of ruining the place by making it popular, I will now reveal my pho double secret location.

The Best Pho in LA (or the best closest to my house) is ... Pho 999 on Sherman Way in North Hollywood. You can differ. It's in a small plaza, nestled in between a liquor store, a Mexican and a baklava joint. Some might call it a dive.

But you can't beat its $6 pho bowls. Or even the clear-skin spring rolls, the Vietnamese name which escapes me at the moment.

For those new to pho, here are the basics:

  • Order a bowl of pho. Choose any three combination of beef, brisket, tendon, tripe, or flank.
  • When the hot bowl arrives: break off and toss mint leaves, bean sprouts, squeeze lime all into bowl.
  • Enjoy.
Sarah over at The Delicious Life has a nice post about pho (although it's about Westside pho).

Note: Photo by Michelle (meeshay) from Flickr.

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