Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pho Noodle & Grill--2266 S Garey Ave, Pomona, CA 91766

My meal Cost: under $10 with tip. Health Rating A. 4.5 stars on Yelp

Since Pho Noodle & Grill was next on my list, I would normally go there next Monday. But noting that they are closed on Mondays, and since I had some time today, I decided to push it up. So do I wait and post it on Monday to keep an order to things, then skip next week? I decided that skipping a week this early on might not be a good idea so I present this "off-schedule" posting here.

First I have to confess that I have a problem with Pho restaurants. I've been to several different ones and there is an odor that permeates the space which I don't particularly like. It appears that because Pho is soup and steamy bowls of hot soup give off odors, there's something in Pho that just doesn't smell right to me. In looking at a Pho recipe, I think that it might be either the cilantro (which I have no problem with raw) or the fish sauce. Either way, it's kind of hard for me to get over.

However, this place didn't smell so bad on entering so I took a table and perused the menu. The menu not only includes Pho (pronounced Fuh), but also noodle dishes like chow mein, rice dishes like fried rice, and vermicelli dishes, egg noodle soups, rice noodle soups, vegetarian dishes like spring rolls and veggie chow mein, Banh Mi sandwiches, and appetizers such as spring rolls or egg roles as well as bean curd skin with shrimp paste.

The waiter, who was very pleasant and informative, suggested the #1 House Special Beef Combo Pho. That's outside my comfort zone as I was looking longingly at the fried rice.

He came out with a small plate of mung bean sprouts, sliced jalapenos, a large sprig of basil, and a lime wedge. Upon my asking, he explained that these were to be added to the soup as I might like. The Pho came in a large bowl (certainly large enough to feed 2) and was a soup with slices of fairly fatty beef, transparent rice noodles, scallions, and the aforementioned cilantro (cooked in). The odor was exactly that odor that I have a problem with, but the flavors were very good. After taking a taste of it unadulterated, I added a few of the basil leaves (torn up), the bean sprouts, jalapeno, and a squeeze of the lime wedge.

I have to admit that when I first looked at the accompaniments, I thought that the jalapeno was small pieces of green bell pepper. Upon gathering some up with a spoon full of soup and chewing down, I suddenly, realized my error. It really cleared out my sinuses, which was something they needed today.

The flavors were actually very good. The fattiness of the beef slices had a lot of good flavor. After trying to use a fork and Asian soup spoon to eat this, I realized that I'd have a lot better luck with chop sticks. They allow you to stir the soup and loosen the tangled mass of noodles.

I just had water with my meal, but they do have Thai Tea, Milk Tea, French style coffee (iced or hot), soft drinks, and an impressive list of Boba smoothies.

All in all, a very pleasant experience.

UP NEXT: Mi Jalisco


  1. Thanks John! I haven't been so brave to try this food...I think I certainly will now.

  2. Funny you mention the scent of Vietnamese restaurants, because that is what I LOVE about them. Maybe because I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley eating pho all my life, I have come to love the funky smell and taste of fish sauce! Yum! Good job stepping out of your comfort zone to try it.