A chain of Vietnamese Pho (Beef Noodle Soup) joints starting up in Los Angeles, and growing.
Oh yeah, Los Angeles is on the cutting edge of a lot of things. But getting us Pho dished out to us 24 hours a day? Doing it out in the suburbs, outside of Little Saigon? This is innovation deserves a freakin’ Nobel Prize.
Pho is one of the great tuneable meals in the world. It also takes practice. You’re not going to get Pho right the first time. You need to play with the mix of peppers and Hoisin sauce, lime and mint leaves until it’s just right for you. And you might have to do it a few times, which of course, necessitates eating more Pho, which is a good thing.
Like Pizza, Pho is hard to screw up. And like Pizza, its hard to make it masterfully. Fortunately, the Pho at Pho Citi is good, and comes in a lot of varieties, not as many as Saigon Noodle Restaurant, but from the way it looks, it’s certainly enough to keep their Vietnamese Clientele happy.
Pho Citi has undergone some changes since it first opened. Not all of them good (see the Safety Tip below). It used to be a counter-based place, where you walk up, place your order and sit down. Now they seem to want you to sit down first. No big deal.
The service at any of the Pho Citi’s isn’t the greatest, but they know enough to get you comfortable, and brings out the massive bowl in just a couple of minutes. After that you’re slurping and sipping away.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Really? You’re gonna ask me that question? Really?
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: For some reason, the Iced Tea machine at the Burbank Location has been broken…for the last year. Hell, its been broken for the last two years. I have no idea why they haven’t fixed it yet, but it’s very annoying.
And during my last visit (January 12, 2012) even their Soda Machine was out, necessitating the purchase of canned beverages. Again, hardly ideal. Plus, it’s not like there’s a higher margin or anything for buying a can of something to drink.
If you serve hot stuff, you need to also sell stuff to put out that fire.
PARKING: Pho Citi is located in a new massive Theater/Apartment/Shopping Complex on the corner of Magnolia and First in beautiful Downtown Burbank, so there is lots of free structures to park in. Right behind the Flapper’s Comedy Club, is an entrance for an underground structure that services the AMC Theaters and all the shops in there. I guarantee if you hit that place before 12:15pm on any weekday, you will get a space. You may have to travel down into the guts a bit, but you will get a space. Short of that consult the Burbank Map for an alternative location, say the one on First and Orange Grove. It’s a walk, but not that big of a walk.
346 North 1st Street
1834 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
152 South Brand Boulevard
4319 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
8928 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA