Let's say you live in West LA and want really good Pho. You don't mind driving at all to get it. What is the closest best pho (and PLEASE not the best that's closest)?

We had bon bo hue in Hue, Vietnam, at 8AM. She closes when she runs out.


Thanks- sounds good

sorry can’t be of much help, but to be honest, i think the overal pho scene in LA/OC (yes, even in Little Saigon) is very lackluster. Perhaps it due to the general popularity of the dish, but Viet restaurants just put it on the menu without great care and desire to make it truly great like it deserves. It’s just all ok. It’s commoditized item to a point, unlike the Japanese community where attention to detail in every component is important (ie. ramen lab–curly noodles or straight? thick or thin? different flours etc). No one would bat an eye when someone advertises “craft/artisan” ramen noodles. I’m not necessary talking about just better ingredients or fusiony things for instagram either (bone marrow, hunk of short ribs, lobster etc.). We have hard time finding great traditional pho. Don’t want to stand on soapbox, but really do hope some younger gen viet chefs really do something great with pho.

sorry for the rant. :sweat_smile:


I’d say best closest is up 405 at Pho So 1 on Sepulveda


had another very average one at NongLa on Monday… it’ll do in a pinch but there’s a lot wrong with it.

1 Like

I am a big fan of Saigon Dish in Lawndale. Wonderful owner. A great neighborhood feel. Good food.http://www.saigondish.info


My favorite in the area is also Saigon Dish. I also recently went to the new Pho place in Culver City Phovorite. Definitely better than others in the area, by the broth was unbalanced. Too much clove. But the noodle game was strong, especially since they use thin noodles…

Also tried their chicken pho… it was good but they add a lot of crispy shallot which permeates it. I LOVE crispy shallot but I think using it this way is kinda cheating



I go to Pho 79. Bonus, I get to meet my Dad there, an OC resident.

1 Like

Do you know any places with great Northern/Hanoi style pho?

I was always curious if Little Saigon has backyard/underground operations like Mexican food in South Central/Boyle Heights/East LA/Lincoln Heights.

I have heard of “monthly subscription” services with homestyle viet food.

I often hear the “best pho is my moms/aunt/grandma etc”. Or even Bun Cha Hanoi in a backyard over fire, damn that would be so good

I’ll take a bit further and ask: does Southern California have a pho restaurant at all that satisfies the following?

  • serves lime (not lemon) with the bean sprouts (hopefully not oxidized), and ngò gai (jag toothed herb, thorny coriander, or I’ll settle for Mexcian culantro)
  • serves pho bo (beef) only, no appetizers, no cha gio, no bun cha, no rice plates, no banh xeo etc
  • offers vè dòn (crunchy flank) as a topping
  • the broth is more natural tasting, and is at least semi transparent (not darkened and murky to the point where it looks like overcooked spinach and liver soup with a scoop of miso mixed in, or squid ink)
  • you have the option to order your broth extra fatty Nước béo (kind of like a ramen’s kotteri broth) which probably is off menu
  • you have the option of ordering nước béo hành trần (raw scallions soaked in thickened fatty broth/beef grease on the side), quite possibly off menu, and hành giầm giấm (vinegar onions on the side) , both used to intensify your bowl of pho for those who prefer heavy tastes

I only know of Pho Kim Quy that satisfies the above.

Even then I hear complete opposite things about the place. The best and the worst. I am guessing 100% dependent on who is making the broth. That goes for a lot of places!!! Beef pho is always a gamble.

Most pho shops are generalists though in LS


How do you like Turtle Tower? Are they pretty consistent?

What is the best pho in Little Saigon? I stopped caring about that question long ago because you’ll only get a superlative pho if you make it yourself. I’ll only order pho “on the pinch” if I can’t wait the weekend to prepare it at home.

When I make it at home, I make sure to keep some of the droplets of oil on the surface of the broth in each bowl. If gives a wonderful umami-ness and look to the broth, but 99% of pho restaurants skim it out completely, which I think is unfortunate. It needs to be well-skimmed, but the fat droplets are necessary.

1 Like

@JeetKuneBao, Turtle Tower is Northern style, and their noodles are more like fresh ho fun (thinner than the kind you see for beef chow fun). Last few times the broth was a bit too salty.

Thanks for the mention of Pho Kim Quy!

Yeah that’s what I figured. LS seems more like an area to focus on Central Vietnamese specialties (of which there are tons of good stuff).

If you ever come up again to SF Bay Area, give Pho Y #1 on E. Capitol in San Jose a try, it has everything I mentioned. Younger folks (Yelpers and the ilk) tend to prefer the newer Pho Papa on the opposite side of the expressway, but I think PY1 has better broth.