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« yoso-lazy: What's in the Frig? | Main | Hong Kong Restaurant »

Thursday, 23 June 2005



Hi Kirk,

I love Vietnamese food, and if you make it back, and if it's still open, you have to visit two of my favorites. The first is Pho Saigon on Keeaumoku Street right across the behemoth that is Sam's Club/WalMart. The second is Bac Nam which is located one block over from McKinley High School. IMO, Bac Nam serves the best pho in the Islands, and I was planning on crowning it my restaurant discovery of the year.

That said, the food here looks good, but I know how challenging it can be to find good Vietnamese food. Especially food that is freshly made, tasty and reasonably priced.


I working on learning more about the cooking end of Veitnamese. Having a friend that is Veitnamese WOULD help a lot except the woman is constantly running around. I count myself fortunate that I got her long enough to talk to me about spring rolls. I didn't get enough time; however, to get down into her garden for seeds for some of the herbal ingredients. That is a future must. Do you garden at all? If not, do you have access to at least a square foot or so of dirt? Growing herbs is very easy and you might enjoy have a plant or two.


Reid - I do have Bac Nam on my "list" after reading your review. Phuong Trang has been around a while and it's one of several that we like. There are people who a very(overly) passionate about their Pho' and though I'm not one of them, I still enjoy a good bowl during the winter. I can tell you though - the best Pho' broth I've ever had was in Seattle - at of all places Pho' Hoa - which is a franchise chain - the noodles were terrible however. We used to take drive down to Westminster and eat at all of these hole in the wall places when we lived in LA - but this was before my Chowhound/Food Blog days - so never really recall names and such.

Jo - We used to grow Thai and sweet basil, oregano, and tomatoes all on the porch of our condo - because it caught great morning sun. Now at the house we have trees that block sunlight and dogs that like to and or eat the stuff - so we've stopped. Maybe next year, I want to grow yuzu, and we've got a little fig tree....


Yuzu? Is that an herb? Figs are good! You'll never be naked with a fig around! ::laughing::


Jo - Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit, and is traditionally used to make Ponzu Sauce (actually Ponzu Shoyu)!


aaahhh, FAScinating! Although I've heard the word, I don't know if I've ever tried ponzu sauce either. These are things I'll have to get educated on!

I wouldn't try growing any trees right here right now because we will all be evicted in the not to distant future to make way for redevelopment of the property. We knew this coming in so not a bad thing. In fact we are praying that when we leave here we will going to our "dream farm". When that happens, LOOK OUT WORLD! ;o)


Jo - Many times you'll get ponzu served, say with fried fish items (Kara-age),the heads (atama) of Ama'ebi, or it's poured on top of Hirame or Albacore Nigiri, or Ankimo (Monkfish liver). It's the dark brown tangy/sour/salty dipping sauce. Really "delici-yoso" - mix ponzu, shoyu, sugar, and canola oil and it makes a very refreshing vinegarette.


Hey, I like the Phuong Trang review. My one quibble is the reference to Pho Hoa Cali. I've only been there once, but I thought the pho was pretty ordinary and they stinted a bit with the garnishes. I will admit, it was packed - I even had to wait a couple minutes for a table - but I like the Convoy Pho House (I think that's what it's called) better. I realize that others at chowhound like Pho Hoa Cali a lot, so maybe my experience was unusual.


Ed - I guess I need to try Convoy Pho' House, huh? I'll make sure to do so in the future. Yes, alot of people like Pho Hoa Cali, at least the Pho' there. I think on a good day Phuong Trang is better, but at times Phuong Trang has been very inconsistent, and when busy it's a total zoo! Pho Hoa Cali is our alternative to Phuong Trang. I'm not a Pho' expert, so I just base things on my taste. Thanks for commenting - I'm expecting alot more comments!!!


I'm gonna have to let this ponzu sauce twirl in MY brain a bit. Sounds yummy. I bet I've had it before without having any clue what it was and no nerve to ask.


Jo - Kikkoman sells a bottled version of ponzu, so you might be able to get it at an Asian Grocer.


No kidding? I should be able to get it at the Golden Pheonix then. This store is amazing. It started out with nothing but a minimalist selection of Vietnamese and Phillipino foods and 1 aisle of Mexican foods as well. Everytime I go in they have more and I'm thinking of posting a blog challenge (have readers suggest items for me to locate) to find out just how well stocked they actually are and to increase my knowledge as well.

But that's still cooking up... ;o)


Had Valentines dinner at Pho Hoa Cali..good but not anything outstanding. Had gone to Saigon (on ECBlvd)on Sunday morning and portions were larger, pho broth was waaaay richer and prices a tad better (Cha Gio $4.95 vs $5.10)and most phos 4.50 vs 5.50...neither gave us addins other than the usual...sprout/lime/jalapeno/bay leaf...


Hi Cathy - Happy Valentine's day to you. We used to go to Saigon quite often, though not for Pho', I really didn't care for the heavy anise flavor that the broth had there, almost like a weak Niu Rou Mein. But they have wonderful seafood and other dishes, and like you said they are very affordable. I'm finding it harder to squeeze in many of the restaurants on my list since doing this food blogging thing! Go figure....


This is making me REALLY hungry.


Hi Mike - It might be dinner time! :o)

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