So far, the best Pho restaurant in Glendale.
I have been trying to go to The Glendale Pho Company for years.
It opened not too long ago in the heart of Downtown Glendale…downtown in the sense of the City Hall, Courthouse and Glendale Police Department HQ all being in walking distance from the restaurant.
You walk in, and it’s certainly cozy. Lush green painted walls. About a dozen small stations. Pictures on the wall showing Glendale History (a touch I liked). The crowd is primarily mixed, just good people (some of whom clearly work for the city) and a good sprinkling of Vietnamese clientele all inside to get their Pho on.
It’s interesting, because this place comes with some built-in disadvantages. The restaurant is hugged up next to Dave’s, a neighborhood bar that claims all the space in the lot to it’s immediate left. There isn’t exactly a lot to do in and around the area, unless you count the Jewel City Bowling Alley a block away. I guess you can spend Saturday Night at Colonial Honda next door, but…
But the Glendale Pho Company is hanging in there. It’s doing more than hanging in there, it looks like it’s thriving.
Must be the Pho.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Okay, unlike 9021Pho by Kimmy Tang (and dear God I can’t believe I still have to type that), The Glendale Pho Company serves up 13 varieties of Pho. The first six of which all have tripe.
Now what is tripe? Well, it’s basically shredded stomach of various kinds of animals. As I said, it’s a featured ingredient in the first six Pho items on the menu.
Which is why I ordered good ol’ Number seven, the Pho Tai Chin, which is Pho with rare steak and well-done brisket. This stuff arrived, with a melange of scallions and onions that looked fantastic swimming in a proper, strong stock. The plate of accoutrements that came with was plentiful and generous. (This is one area where The Glendale Pho Company just smokes Pho Citi (as much as I love it), who has gotten a little cheap recently when it comes to its own plate of goodies.)
The stock was good, and the mixture of texture between the rare steak and the brisket was fantastic. This was good Pho, top to bottom.
Now grated, I avoid Tripe like…well, like Tripe. (I have tried it, and it made be feel physically terrible afterwards…but that’s my limitation, not Tripe’s). Now I may not like Tripe, but I love seeing in on menus in Pho restaurants. Why? Because it means that the place you’re in is primarily trying to appeal to a Vietnamese dining audience, and let everyone else in on the fun.
Glendale Pho Company is just such a place.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Aside from the Parking (there’s a reason it has it’s own section), there’s this. There is a ten dollar minimum for Credit Card charges. Now, this is important because Glendale Pho Company has the added benefit of being relatively inexpensive. A bowl of Pho and an Iced Tea costs exactly $9.80, so order accordingly.
Also, this is the first place where the Pho comes in two different sizes: large and small. Now, I was cautious and ordered the small. The bowl that arrived was the same size I had gotten from every other Pho place I have ever been to, so I don’t want to even imagine what a Large looks like.
PARKING: Not good, by far the worst part about dining at the Glendale Pho Company is trying to park. But that’s not really on them. This is the space they got, and they’re rolling with it as best as possible.
There is parking lot right up next to Glendale Pho Company, but, please dear God, do not park there. That lot apparently belongs to Dave’s, the Bar next door. There are ample signs all over the restaurant saying not to park there, so…take their advice.
So that leaves your only option, street parking with the meters along Glendale Blvd. A spot right in front of the restaurant is just not gonna happen. I arrived at around 11:30 on a weekday (Restaurant opens at 11am), and got a spot down by the Jewel City Bowling, half a block away, which isn’t bad. Parking is a buck for an hour, so again…plan accordingly.
One more thing, the Meters are not in operation...and thus you cannot park at them between the hours of 4pm and 6pm daily. How this affects the restaurant I don’t know…
The Glendale Pho Company
102 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
Tel: (818) 243-8867
Monday-Sunday: 11:00am – 9:00pm