Craving a nourishing and healthy soup after seeing a movie in a cinema steered the wheel of our car towards this low-key bistro on Westwood Boulevard.
Pho Citi Noodle Soup
Food: In the US two things are good sign that the place is safe and probably at least quite good. First, asking whether they use msg in their food so you know the food is safe and fresh. Second, seing the eatery almost full means that it must have good food. The customers of Pho are mostly students coming for a bite to eat from UCLA. Two tables were vietnamese girls assuring me that this is the right soup place. My vietnamese friend in London always said: “The best soup is fresh, healthy and in the West usually found in not as fancy places.”
Vietnamese appetizers platter
Pho soup with condiments
We got the mixed appetizer platter of vegetable summer-rolls (cuốn), chicken dumplings and fried egg rolls (chả giò). All three were excellent. The summer-rolls were fresh, crispy and the selection of sauces made them more fun as we dipped each bite into a different one. Super-hot chilly, refreshing lime and chilly, soya and hoisin-style sauces were all authentic. The fried snacks were not oily, just perfectly crisp and the fillings were like a roller-coaster – intense and changing as you munch through them.
What is great about the Pho soups with noodles is that they are so big that a bowl of Pho can be your entire dinner saving you $$. They are suitable for carnivores, vegetarians and even vegans as you can choose your broth, condiments such as meet, vegetables, tofu or soy based meet. We chose the vegetarian option out of interest. The tofu and vegetable soup was fresh, delicate and very interesting as we could play with the ingredients on the side plate. We could add mungo beans, lime, green chilly pepper or an Eastern type of basil. I have done it all and it was just great.
Cuisine: vietnamese
Location: Westwood, Los Angeles, California US
Visit: March 2012
Price: Moderate to low for LA (a dinner for two can cost as little as $20 including drinks, soups around $7)
Drinks: This is the place where you can get the real coconut water served with a spoon and a straw as at an exotic place. It was so good that I was transferred for a moment to Kuala Lumpur, where I had this delicious natural drink for the first time. Pho is an ideal place for a night without alcohol. You can rehydrate yourself after a night partying as it is open 24/7! Instead of burgers and pizza heaving a recharging and healthy soup or fresh veggie spring rolls would surely have won a support from your doctor.
Atmosphere: Very relaxed, low-key, full of young people looking for value. No worries about what to wear. The service is prompt and friendly.
Pho Citi is located across LA, so if you are hungry at 4am, you do not need to go far whether you are in Hollywood, Beverly Hills or Downtown.
Contact&opening hours: +1(310) 446-8070; open 24/7