815 W. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
The Event: Lunch with my crew
The Very Best Friend happens to be a bona fide Vietamese goddess, and if she says go HERE for the pho ... I hop to it. Hoppity hop.
We hit the scene around 11 am on a Sunday, and the place was already almost completely full. The decor is the usual non-descript, oldish glow, but it's clean enough and it smells like pork. Those are good things.
The menu is loaded with things I can't pronounce or even begin to imagine, but luckily my pal is present, and she takes the reins.
Service is manic and rushed, because these folks are busy and they just don't have time for our lollygagging.
An amazing lime, sugar, and sparkling water concoction that is the first non-alcoholic brew in ages to make me giddy.
These mammoth, greasy suckers were loaded with veggies and pork, and came with lettuce leaves to cut the oil and add a wee bit o' the healthy kick. I said a wee bit. Quite good, but needed the spice of the accompanying sauce in a big way.
Shrimp Spring Rolls
Now these were a home run - the chewy, fresh skin housed gobs of shrimp and vegetables. I didn't love the spicy, sweet sauce that came with them, but the consistency and texture made this a huge winner.
Pho, and lots of it
We all opted (by friend's DEMAND) to have the Pho Tai, which is the version with cooked beef. This heavenly, steamy bowl of goodness comes equipped with a platter of raw veggies, like mint leaves, bamboo shoots, lime, jalapeno, and much more. The vermicelli noodles aren't homemade, but they are realllly good. The broth had a lovely, salty kick, and with the right combo of hot sauce and plum sauce, few things may a rainy day more enjoyable.
My tip to you - Get the pho, skip the fried goods (did I just write that out loud?)
Damage for 2 appetizers, 6 lime drinks and 6 bowls o' pho - about $60. Bargain!!
Worth it? Every freaking penny and then some.
RESTAURANT REPORT CARD - Golden Deli Visit 1
Ambiance - D+
Service - C
Food (Taste) - B-
Food (Presentation) - C-
Wine/Drinks - B (no alcoholic types spied or sampled)
Value - A
Vibe/Energy/Scene - B
Overall Experience - B-
Parking: Nice big lot, it's in a strip mall
Attire: Super casual
Pros: Awesome, authentic, inexpensive Vietamese food stuffs
Cons: It's a schlep if you aren't near San Gabriel, and there isn't much ambiance
Final word - Absolutely phobulous, eat your heart out.