I make it a point to see mom and have lunch with her about once a week – more if I am driving by and she’s with her friends.
About half the time, we’re grabbing bows of pho in Garden Grove or Westminster in Little Saigon, a local treasure. Other times, we’re going for Korean food mostly on Garden Grove Blvd or in Buena Park.
Her favorite place is Pho 45 on Garden Grove Blvd. It’s very decent, certainly better than any pho place in Cypress. It’s usually a short wait for a seat.
Here’s how she will eat it: She doesn’t put the mint leaves in or any Shriracha sauce. But she’ll put in the sprouts and onions with the hot sauce on the side.
With pho, there are three main ingredients: The soup, vegetables, noodle, and meat. Although all the ingredients should be fresh (the noodle, soup, and sometimes the meat are pre-cooked), I think the soup (which I think is a bone broth cooked for a long time) is the most important. In my opinion, it should be deep, dark, and tasty with no or little MSG.
My favorite place, primarily because of the meat broth (though the other things are fresh too), is Phoholic on Bushard off of Bolsa Av. However, I do not go there often because of the long wait time. Last time, I waited 30 minutes for a seat. The photo above is actually taken at the restaurant.
I previously heard about Pho 79 on Hazard and Brookhurst but had not been there yet. Given the award they just receive, I’ll have to make it a point to take mom there soon, likely for our next lunch date.
Garden Grove Vietnamese restaurant Pho 79 has been awarded the prestigious James Beard America’s Classics honor for its contributions to the country’s dining landscape. As one of the first pho specialists when it opened in 1982, Thọ Trần and Liễu Trần’s restaurant nourished Orange County’s growing Little Saigon neighborhood and introduced Southern California to one of Vietnam’s most iconic dishes: beef pho.