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Good and Bad Pho in the San Gabriel Valley

Bakery 101 reopened and everything on their menu, even pho bac, is only $4.99. The food is absolutely good. I'm really picky when it comes to Hu tieu Bo Kho ( beef stew noodles ) and they made the best i ever ate. My wife ate the Pho Bac which is normally the most expensive pho anywhere else but it was only 4.99 here. And it was good too. I do pick Bakery 101 over saigon deli overall when it comes to parking, food, service, price, quantity of food, and authenticity. Weird thing is, Bakery 101 isn't well known because its in the middle of nowhere far away from restaurant central San gabriel. Bakery 101 changed their name to Saigon Deli i believe. Its owned by the chain of Saigon sandwiches in san gabriel valley. I was there last week and they had the name Saigon Deli on the wall. Their menu has variety and i've tried bun bo hue ( spicy soup ), hu tieu bo kho ( beef stew noodles ), and pho bac ( northern style pho ). They were all really good and 4.99 .

Nov 05, 2008
luckyapril7 in Los Angeles Area

Good and Bad Pho in the San Gabriel Valley

BAKERY 101 's address is 501 W. Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA. I take my mom here every weekend because she refuses to eat at any other " fake pho " restaurants opening up all over the place in the san gabriel valley. Plus its super clean with high vaulted ceilings. I eat the Hu Tieu Bo Kho ( beef stew ) which is to die for there. The meat is so tender is just melts in your mouth.

May 13, 2008
luckyapril7 in Los Angeles Area

Good and Bad Pho in the San Gabriel Valley

i made a huge mistake because when i drove by pho hien mai, it was the good pho restaurant not the bad one. Pho Hien is the one the husband took and branched off. I got them mixed up. I actually drove by Pho Hien Mai to eat but too packed. You won't find chinese or white folks in there. Only hardcore pho eaters.

May 13, 2008
luckyapril7 in Los Angeles Area

Good and Bad Pho in the San Gabriel Valley

saigon flavor is not known for their pho. Their specialty is hu tieu. Which is pork based soup, not beef.

May 13, 2008
luckyapril7 in Los Angeles Area

Good and Bad Pho in the San Gabriel Valley

in arcadia , there is a restaurant called ' VIETNAM KITCHEN" which is also horrible and very unauthentic. In the same plaza as baskin robbins and that korean tofu house across the street from burlington coat factory. Took my dad there because it was convenient and on the way to the santa anita mall. My dad walked out there and made a comment about the food and the saltiness of the soup. He was pissed.

May 13, 2008
luckyapril7 in Los Angeles Area

Good and Bad Pho in the San Gabriel Valley

pho bac ( northern vietnamese pho ) is there specialty, also there most expensive. It is filet mignon pho.

May 13, 2008
luckyapril7 in Los Angeles Area

Good and Bad Pho in the San Gabriel Valley

i'm not sure, i never noticed.

May 13, 2008
luckyapril7 in Los Angeles Area

Good and Bad Pho in the San Gabriel Valley

i believe she changed the name to pho hien-mai, but it is in that area east of rosemead.

May 13, 2008
luckyapril7 in Los Angeles Area

Good and Bad Pho in the San Gabriel Valley

I've been on here several times as an observer of so many bulletins on vietnamese food in the San Gabriel Valley. Some i agree with and some I don't. I am a vietnamese food critic for a large vietnamese newspaper. I come from a family of restauranteers and when you sit around a dinner table listening to all my family members talk of the good and bad of what is there to offer in the san gabriel valley, one has no choice but to soak it in and let the rest of the world know.
#1 rule on vietnamese dining ( ask any old vietnamese person and they'll tell you the same thing ) : Always eat in a vietnamese restaurant that is populated with vietnamese diners. If there are a lot of non vietnamese people ( caucasians ), the food is crap. Reason being, hardcore vietnamese people know what vietnamese food should taste like.
#2 rule. Beware of pho restaurants playing chinese music and the waitresses only speak chinese. This is the same thing as koreans opening up sushi restaurants because its profitable. It may be close, but its not authentic . Any vietnamese diner could tell the difference. Because pho is very desired, a lot of asians are jumping on the bandwagon to open one. Pho King closed as quickly as it opened for business a couple of years ago because of this.
- Pho Pasteur is not real pho. It is stocked up with a lot of soup bases from packages and msg. You can tell by looking at the broth that it is nothing but msg. You must look for clear broth because that denotes that the chef took time to let beef bones simmer for hours and hours to flavor the soup.
-Pho Hien ( not Hien-Mai ) is definitely a hole in the wall but is a surviving restaurant because they cook their pho broth overnight. If you just happen to drive by early in the morning, you can see an old lady carrying a huge pot of pho from their vehicle to the restaurant. They may not be #1 in customer service but they do know what they're doing.
-Pho Hien-Mai is the husband of Pho Hien's owner ( they got into an argument and he took off to open up a pho restaurant 2 blocks away ) He wanted to make as much profit as possible by speeding up the process of making pho and using msg. The wife believed in taking her time using natural ingredients like the old country to make her pho. She believed customers will be more loyal this way. ( This is a rumor amongst many vietnamese people in the community ). Hence, his restaurant is not nearly as busy as hers.
-Golden Deli is another restaurant that is definitely worth dining in BUT not for the pho. They're specialty is Bun ( vermicelli ) and any dish that uses fish sauce.
-Pho 79 is also good and their name/recipe is handed down from generation to generation. Their name is very well know because its been here since the beginning of time.
-Pho Nguyen Hoang is too expensive, period and they use too much anise seed in their broth. The aroma is too strong and it is overly used to drown out the msg they don't want you to taste.
-Bakery 101 on Garvey between garfield and atlantic is by far the best quality pho made. They use strips of filet mignon steak instead of rare beef flanks like typical pho restaurants do. This place is sort of hidden and their name doesn't denote that they're a pho restaurant. Their pho is from northern vietnam instead of southern. The noodles are wider as its characteristic.

Apr 27, 2008
luckyapril7 in Los Angeles Area