Is It Any Good?

Adequate Pho in Glendale, and other locations.

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Yeah, I’m sorry, but who the @#$% is Kimmy Tang??

I’m not trying to be insulting here, but I don’t want to be insulted either. I never heard of this woman.

It’d be one thing if I was asking the question of 9021Pho. Then at least my Kimmy Tang ignorance would be all on me. But that’s not where we’re being asked to eat. We’re eating at 9021Pho by Kimmy Tang. It’s not a restaurant…it’s a concept.

Typical L.A.

My personal guess? She got herself a marketing team behind her, and has decided to put the cart before the horse.  In other words, she’s decided to work on the “Celebrity” part before cracking down on the whole “Chef”…thing. It’s starting to remind me of a certain Taco Bell chef, whom I have also never heard of.

And let me emphasize…she really needs to work on the Chef thing. The Pho I had there was uninteresting to the point of being unappetizing.

Look, the Glendale location is a nice spot. It’s got a decent chunk of real estate by the front entrance leading out toward Americana at Brand. The staff is very nice, and very friendly. It’s an (shudder) exceptionally well lit restaurant with lots and lots of windows allowing you to be gawked at by GAP and JC Penney shoppers up and down the mall. The place means well, but I don’t they’re trying to cater to any local Southeast Asians.

No, they’re trying to get at Mommy and Daddy suburbia, and that is not a good thing.

9012Pho by Kimmy Tang is not an abysmal waste of your time and money…but it little extra shoe leather can get you better Pho not that far away. If Kimmy Tang doesn’t seriously, seriously step up her Pho game, and fast…Pho Citi, located on just the other side of Americana at Brand is going to eat her lunch.


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, let’s start by ordering some Pho, since…you know…its in the name of the restaurant.

And I just love how the website proclaims it to be the :best food in town”.  Trust me, it ain’t.  But it ain’t terrible either.  It’s just average.

I can’t call myself a Pho purist, but I know what I like. Like with Ramen, like with Beef Noodle Soup, in fact…like with soups everywhere, the stock of the soup is what matters, the broth. If you don’t get that right, you didn’t come to play.

So I ordered the Pho Bo, which is basically Brisket and Meatball Pho. It’s right there at the top of the menu, following the whole First Thing rule. Of course, they wheeled out Pho Ga for me, which is Chicken Pho.

Yeah, Chicken Pho is not something I’m ever gonna do. Just doesn’t feel like the right meat for Pho…ever. I’m not even sure it’s even a part of traditional Vietnamese Pho, as in what you’d get in Vietnam. (And I sure as hell don’t get Chicken when I order Bulgogi in a Korean place.) So yeah, I sent it back and got what I ordered.

I don’t know if it was a bad night, or…what, but the stock was…well…damn close to clear. There was a taste to it. It’s not like they served me water, not hardly. It just wasn’t that good. It was nothing like I’ve had at Pho Citi or Saigon Noodle. I added my Lime and Hoisin sauce, and I taste an awful lot of lime. No beef taste, at least no strong beef taste. I tasted a little of the Hoisin, but that may have been my fault.

I’m still not cool with this bull@#$% prefabricated Celebrity Chef thing.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Ummm, I’m not 100% sure 9021Pho’s (sorry, 9021Pho by Kimmy Tang)…anyway, I’m not sure their top priority is Pho, beleive it or not.

Here’s my thing, I’m not sure how good of an idea it is to get ahold of the menu and have to keep turning and tunring and turning pages to get to what is supposed to be the star attraction of your restaurant.

Maybe, it’s not the star attraction.

I mean the Pho is like on page 8 of the menu, and you have to scroll through a LOT of Alchohol to get there. The last place I saw that did that was Cheesecake Factory (oddly enough Kimmy Tang’s is now located near two of them. Hmm.)

My feeling is 9021Pho by Kimmy Tang wants to be a party/good time place like that. Again, this is fine, but…it does beg the question, why (if I want Pho) am I going to go to a party place, where there are more serious (and thus better) Pho places not that far away.

Also, it doesn’t help that you can get a greater variety of Pho at other Pho places like Pho Citi, Glendale Pho Company or Saigon Noodle. I think there are 7 choices on the Kimmy Tang’s menu, and like 12-14 on the Pho Citi Menu.


PARKING: The Glendale location is attached the Glendale Galleria which is all free parking all the time. It may get crowded on weekends, but trust me, you’ll find a space.


9021Pho by Kimmy Tang
Glendale Galleria
1164 Glendale Galleria Way
Glendale, CA 91210
Phone: (818) 551-9021

Sunday-Thursday 11:00am-10:00pm
Friday-Saturday 11:00am-11:00pm