Sunday, April 08, 2007

Pho Ga...and That's it: What Being a Foodie in L.A is Really About

"Have you been to that place yet? It's supposed to be really good".

...yeah, supposed to be really good.

Something has been getting to me recently, this might just be my neurotic self but...Why do we tend to go to a restaurant only when it's gotten written up? I used to be able to do this, but lately i've been thinking twice about this. Think about it...L.A is home to thousands of restaurants, but we only go to ones after someones had their say on them.

What about the other ones? The places next to those, across the street from those? Have we grown scared of venturing out?

I will admit, it's hard. But if it wasn't for this, i would of never found Bahn Coan Hoan Kiem . Since most vietnamese places around here only tend to specialize in beef, different varieties of Pho Tai (Beef Noodle Soup), trying to find decent Pho Ga (Chicken Noodle Soup) can be a bit daunting. Have Golden Deli's version and you'll see what i'm talking about. But today...i think i've finally....found it.

Adjacent to a more known noodle shop (PHO 97), Bahn Coan Hoan Kiem only serves 2 things....Pho Ga and Banh Trang (rice paper rolls), no more, no less. For a restuarant, only to serve that, seven days a know its going to be great. And great it was. My dad says this is what you call "peasant food", the kind of soup big restaurants don't dream of serving. Huge chunks of chicken-skin on-making it's funk fuse with the bottomless broth, oozing with floppy rice noodles and just a bit of scallions to bring out the subtle ginger notes. With a couple of squirts of Sriracha and sweet fish sauce, this is truly...chicken soup for the soul. Especially in this gloomy global-warming diseased weather we've been having lately that can't make up it's mind.

Bahn Cuan Hoan Kiem
727 N. Broadway
#130 (not 120)
Los Angeles, CA 90012


Taste-Buzz said...

I've found good Pho Ga at Pho Thanh Lich in Garden Grove. Admittedly, it's a totally different county, but I think driving an hour and a half way is what being a foodie in LA is really about.

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Teenage, I just heard about Hoan Kien as well last week. I am starting to get interested in Chicken Pho b/c i need to lower the cholesterol. I'm not sure that it would help much when eating any type of asian soup noodle, but it's definitely worth a shot. Thanks for posting this.

Douglas Cress said...

I think its great trying new places. With all the restaurants out there its difficult choosing Someone's gotta be the guinea pig ;)

I've started analyzing the aggregate data from blogger reviews. There are interested trends - someone will discover a restaurant and then others will review it. online 'buzz' can spread quickly.

You may have even started something with Bahn Coan Hoan Kien.

I don't think I've ever tried chicken pho, I'll have to give this a whirl sometime - like EDBM I'm trying to be more health conscious.