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

 There is an update to this article at  Pho 79 Revisited.

Pho 79 signUpdated 01-03-15. There are a number of Pho 79s within Little Saigon in Orange County CA, with many more in adjacent cities and even out of state. 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.

But I haven't been back here in at least 10 years! Can you imagine that? Not that I stopped eating pho. Far from it. Maybe because this particular place seems less convenient to get to than many newly open pho shops - it's tucked away behind a strip mall.

Maybe it looks too rundown and tired and old compared to the more hip looking places with shiny colors and lights. But I'm a marketing guy, and I should know that it's not always about the look on the outside. It's the content that matters.

So I decided to pay Pho 79 a visit. And I was not disappointed. If you want good pho at great price without the frills, don't overlook Pho 79. Its pho is very good. The meat tastes great as does most everything else in my bowl. The sprouts, basil and culantro are of peak freshness, while the broth and noodle itself are just right for me.

Pho 79 on Hazard Avenue Little Saigon

Pho 79 on Hazard Avenue Little Saigon

Pho bo (beef pho) at Pho 79

Pho bo (beef: rare, well-done brisket, tripe) at Pho 79

June 1, 2009

Pho bo (beef: rare, well-done brisket, tripe).

  • Pho noodle: (5/5)
  • Soup stock: (5/5)
  • Meats: (5/5)
  • Garnishes*: freshness (5/5)
  • Garnishes: extra point for fresh ngo gai (3/5)
  • Price: Baseline ($5-7), no extra points or deductions.
  • Extra points: +3 for cleanliness, considering the establishment's age.
  • Total points: 26 out of possible 25 (due to extra points).

* No points for expected garnishes of sprouts, Thai basil, lime and chiles.

Pho 79 (Little Saigon, Orange County, CA)
9941 Hazard Avenue, Garden Grove 92844


  1. Đoàn Vinh 5 August, 2015 at 21:06 Reply

    August 04,2015: 1/ Long 11 khi lấy order từ khách hàng,không biết có bị điếc hay không mà cứ hỏi lại cái gì, cái gì?
    Nghe có vẻ không được lịch sự với khách hàng.
    2/Khi khách hàng đang ngồi ăn thì mấy người đi dọn bàn quăng dục bát đũa kêu loảng xoảng, làm như muốn đuổi
    3/Cũng khi khách đang ngồi ăn thì mấy ông Mễ nhào vô chào mời mua dâu,mua xoải.
    4/ Rau húng quế và rau cải cúc còn gọi là tần ô để ăn phở hoặc hủ tíu thì đã khô héo.
    Trên đây là mấy điểm khiến chúng tôi cảm thấy khó chịu khi vào ngồi ăn ở tiệm phở nổi tiếng này.
    Rất mong quý tiệm sửa đổi lại hầu giúp khách hàng chúng tôi cảm thấy thỏai mái hơn khi ngồi vào bàn
    enjoy các món của quý tiệm. Ngược lại nếu còn tái diễn, buộc lòng chúng tôi phải good bye for ever.

    • Cuong Huynh 3 January, 2016 at 10:31 Reply

      @ĐOÀN VINH: Thanks for your comments. All 4 of your points are valid points of typical experience people have at many older Viet restaurants, which is what Pho 79 is. Unfortunately it happened to you.

      1. The server’s demeanor didn’t seem polite or courteous. While taking order, the server should have taken care to be pleasant and courteous even when he/she couldn’t make out what you repeatedly said you wanted. Unfortunately, this subpar service is what many Viet restaurants are known for (beside the good food that they serve). I think it’s time to change, or customers will not come back.

      2. While cleaning tables, the bus person handled bowls and dishes in a rough way making lots of noise in the process. This created an unpleasant dining environment and made you feel unwelcome or maybe hinting that it’s time to finish your meal. Again, this happens way too frequently still, but it should to be tolerated.

      3. This is one of my personal no-nos. Knick-knack or fruit street sellers walking in the dining room and started hawking their products to dining guests of the restaurant. This is truly unacceptable but due to lack of confidence and control on the owner’s part, these street sellers are allowed to continue. Who owns the restaurant anyway?

      4. The plate of “fresh” herbs and greens that accommodate pho and bun bo Hue are not very fresh. This is bad practice, as in many places the owner seemed to try to save a few pennies worth of greens but in the process alienated the customers who are the livelihood of the whole business.

      I always suggest an unsatisfied customer take up the issue with the restaurateur directly, because this will benefit both the customer and the restaurateur. But the reality is most customers will complain to others and not to the business. This is why, unless a business is actively seeking customer feedback, it should try to operate error-free as much as possible and fix any error promptly and professionally.

  2. Bran 2 January, 2016 at 21:57 Reply

    The service at Pho 79 is atrocious. Doesn’t matter how good the pho is, I won’t ever go back there again just because of the horrible customer service I experienced there. I asked for some extra ngo gai and the server looks me in the face and snaps at me that I already have some right there and like I should be grateful I even got some…turns around as if I offended him and leaves. Damned near lost my temper and chewed his ass out in front of the whole restaurant. The pho isn’t THAT good to put up with bad service. They lost a customer for life after that and I’ll never recommend them to anybody that I know ever again.

    • Cuong Huynh 3 January, 2016 at 10:41 Reply

      Hi Bran: Thanks for your comment. I think your experience is what ĐOÀN VINH also experienced. I haven’t been back to Pho 79 lately so I can’t attest to the quality anymore, but I totally get what you guys are talking about. This is real “old school” service that is very bad. They depended on their good pho to survive this long but this behavior of service does’t work anymore. Unless they change they will close shop. The REAL unfortunate thing is they still get enough business to stay afloat.

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