In the past few years, Vietnamese food has gain popularity thanks to Anthony Bourdain. This is a best pho restaurant list in Little Saigon (i.e., Westminster/Garden Grove), California.
I grew up in Little Saigon. I have seen it grow up. The community is a lot different from what I remember as a little knucklehead. The institutional mom and pop shops are still there and they’re still serving the same amazing food with the same crappy service. First, let me get this out-of-the-way. Vietnamese restaurants are not about service. They’re about the food quality and taste. If you come to a Vietnamese restaurant expecting good service, you’re probably the idiot who wastes his money every other day hoping to win the lottery. The chances of it happening are very slim.
Secondly, you’re a complete pretentious douche to think your $5-10 dish deserves Michelin level service. That’s like going to McDonald’s and expecting to be waited on for ordering a Big Mac combo. It’s not going to happen. There’s a give and take here. Patrons are getting flavorful and fresh food for cheap. Let’s be realistic here.
Thirdly, Pho is the most popular Vietnamese dish. The other popular dish would be Banh Mi. Luckily, this isn’t the Insider video with a White dude telling you how to eat your pho. I’m Asian. To be exact, I’m Vietnamese and Chinese. Therefore, I have some ‘street cred’ on the topic. Anyway, without further ado, here are the best pho restaurants in Little Saigon, California.
- Pho 79 – Pho 79 is a Little Saigon institution. They have a few locations in the Little Saigon and Los Angeles area, but the Brookhurst/Hazard location is where it started. They have been in business for over 25 years and I still remember coming here when I was a little fat kid with a bowl cut. The clear broth is on the sweeter side and isn’t too heavy. In addition, they provide the option of fat noodles and ox tail.
- Pho 45 – Pho 45 is the newest pho restaurant on the list. It’s in Orange County’s K-Town, which is right next door to Little Saigon. The dark broth packs a lot of flavor because it’s a little saltier than the others on the list. They use a good amount of fish sauce in their broth and it’s really noticeable in the aroma and flavor. Pho 45 is my go-to pho restaurant because it’s close to my place and open later.
- Pho Lu – Pho Lu is famous for its light broth. The broth isn’t the star. It’s the ox tail. The ox tail’s meat falls off the bone like someone who falls of their bar stool after too many drinks. They use the thin rice noodles, which makes it easier to eat. However, the only draw back is their portions. They’re not as generous as the other pho restaurants.
- Pho 86 – Pho 86 is another institution in Little Saigon. The original location is on Ward and McFadden. The generous portion and the comfortable broth are perfect for any self-labeled pho connoisseur. They have three locations in total; however, the other locations aren’t as generous as the original location.
- Pho Kim Quy – Pho Kim Quy was originally on Bushard and Bolsa Ave. They relocated to a bigger restaurant on Euclid and Warner Ave. The family run restaurant serves a solid hot piping pho bowl. The dark broth and near rare beef are the perfect duo for a flavor party.
- Pho Song Hai – Pho Song Hai is a dirty little restaurant on Westminster and Newland serving the best Pho Ga in Little Saigon. It’s right across from the Westminster PJs. The restaurant is notorious for their wait time and the best way to get a taste of their Pho Ga is to order it to-go. The broth serve with fat noodles and chicken breast. The soothing broth is clear in color and slightly salted for taste.
With all restaurant list, it’s purely subjective based on taste. However, this is the list of all pho list because the other list are completely bullshit. Let us know what other restaurant should be on the list in the comment section. Safe travels.