One of the things I love about living in Los Angeles, is the plethora of ethnic restaurants. My favorite food right now is Vietnamese and I love the fact that within a few miles of my home, I can indulge in some of the best Vietnamese food outside of Viet Nam. Not only is it incredibly cheap and I mean cheap, it is extremely fresh, healthy, low in fat and nutritionally correct.
My favorite is the Pho which is basically a soup, but unlike any soup you have ever tasted. It is a flavorful broth served with your choice of noodles, then add any of the following: beef, chicken, pork and seafood. Hold the tripe and gizzards. It is so popular in California that Pho restaurants are starting to outnumber McDonald's. Nothing is better than a bowl of Pho when you are suffering from a cold, a hangover or just craving a substantial low calorie meal. Accompanying the soup is a humongous plate of carrots, daikon, cucumber, bean sprouts, purple basil, lettuce, mint, rua ram, green onions and cilantro. Makes me wish I had a rabbit to take home the leftovers.
On my last visit, while everyone else got the pho, I decided to go for the sliced raw beef that you cook at your table on a sizzling grill. After the meat is done, you wrap it in rice paper (that comes in a moistened stack and it is a real art to pull them apart without tearing). Then you stuff it with all the antioxidant vegetables and herbs and smother it with the anchovy pineapple sauce Can you say healthy? Even though it's labor intensive, it makes for a fun meal. There was enough to feed a family of four or the two dogs at home.
Since everyone likes coffee but me, they had the requisite Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk which is they say is fabulous. I just go next door to the Seven Eleven and have a Slurpee. (More on that later.) If you are in the San Gabriel Valley and want some of the best Vietnamese food around, you have to try out this restaurant.