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Thumbnail image for Pho 79 on Hazard Avenue in Little Saigon – Still Good and Dependable Pho

Pho 79 on Hazard Avenue in Little Saigon – Still Good and Dependable Pho

June 6, 2009

Pho 79 is a popular name since many Viet arrived in the U.S. in 1979, plus many restaurants opened in Little Saigon in 1979 as well. My first bowls of pho in Little Saigon were actually at this Pho 79. There were very few pho restaurants in existence back then, and those in business were always packed with Vietnamese slurping their pho like there was no tomorrow

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Thumbnail image for Vietnamese, Little Saigon, Bolsa, and Pho by the Numbers

Vietnamese, Little Saigon, Bolsa, and Pho by the Numbers

May 11, 2009

You may be wondering about the name Pho Bolsa. Or maybe Pho 79. Or Pho 86, Pho 54, Pho 75, Pho 88, Pho 90. While there are plenty of pho restaurants with ‘normal’ Vietnamese names, these mentioned above certainly give old and new clientele (and Viet and non-Viet) a little pause of curious ponder. Well here’s an attempt to put some of these mysterious Vietnamese pho names and numbers to rest.

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Thumbnail image for Pho Bolsa – Second to None Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)

Pho Bolsa – Second to None Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)

May 6, 2009

Pho Bolsa has been at the same spot forever and has one of the best pho ga anywhere. My wife ordered her favorite pho ga with white meat, heart, gizzard, and liver. There were unborn eggs as well. I had my trusty pho tai, chin, sach (beef: rare, well-done brisket, tripe). Both were good as expected, but the garnishes were on the wilted side.

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Thumbnail image for Pho in the U.S.: Sweeping North America Since 1975

Pho in the U.S.: Sweeping North America Since 1975

April 21, 2009

Vietnamese pho is probably the dish that most Americans find recognizable. Americans actually find pho appealing, and for some of my friends it’s hard for them to describe pho and why they like it, but they keep coming back for more. For me, there is no mystery in a bowl of pho. It’s just good.

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Thumbnail image for The History and Evolution of Pho: A Hundred Years’ Journey

The History and Evolution of Pho: A Hundred Years’ Journey

April 8, 2009

A fascinating and definitive discussion of history and evolution of Vietnamese pho. The history of pho spans over a hundred years, from unification of Vietnam under French rule in 1887, to North and South Vietnam separation in 1954, and the Fall of Saigon in 1975 and beyond.

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Thumbnail image for Beef Pho and Chicken Pho: Pho Vie II in Garden Grove

Beef Pho and Chicken Pho: Pho Vie II in Garden Grove

February 22, 2009

The half off pho ga (chicken pho) deal has been on for a while, but Pho Vie II is not the only restaurant running this deal in Little Saigon. There are a few others doing the same promotion on pho ga. Pho ga is easy to make, so restaurants can still make profits; pho ga (with free-range chicken) is always better than your regular frozen variety, so the customers wins with tasty food. Those big red “1/2 OFF” signs are magnets for traffic.

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Thumbnail image for Pho Vie II in Garden Grove: Great Tasting Pho

Pho Vie II in Garden Grove: Great Tasting Pho

January 25, 2009

I drove by this place several times and I must admit Pho Vie II always looked crowded and popular. On this day with no long line, I really have to try it. “Vie” means “Life” in French, and I believe the people at Pho Vie II truly believe in a fully enjoyable and immersive life of pho, because their pho is very good and the service is friendly. You can read a few Pho Vie II reviews on Yelp.com. They run 50% off on pho ga (chicken) but personally I don’t think that’s the reason for the crowd. I think it’s because the pho in general is very good – tasty soup stock, fresh ingredients, perfect al dente-like noodle, and fresh Thai basil, ngo gai (culantro) and sprouts.

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