One taste like a bowl of MSG’d dish water. The other taste like a bowl of oily water with scallions in it.
Both are worse than a bowl of bad sullungtang. It’s difficult to describe how much I hate even a GOOD bowl of sulungtang but.. one can get a sense in this post.
Wasting words on these 2 beasties (and hence this entire post) is a disservice to Timothy Berners-Lee, often attributed as the father of the World Wide Web protocol (no, it’s not Al Gore!).
Loser 1: Pho Kim V
Pho Kim V was discovered as a tail piece to 3 months worth of Garvey Ave pho crawl (we visited on opening day and had eyed the grand opening from Pho Minh’s parking lot for months). In retrospect, this bowl of soup was on target to being served as the broth base for doggy kibbles. 3 days after initial visit, the the initial thoughts wasn’t so bad. With time, the slight dissatisfaction grew into a tirade. Pho Kim V will go out of biz by 2010. Bet you a 25 Degrees burger on it.
Pho Kim V
9663 E Garvey Ave
South El Monte, CA 91733
Loser 2: Golden Cafe, aka Pho Bac
This particular travesty of Vietnamese restaurant was visited due to a chase of the name sake dish: Pho Bac (Northern style pho). Note to self (and to all): the ONLY edible pho bac remains Pho Filet’s on Garvey. And next time, try the baked catfish instead. It is, after all, listed as a special on the wall banner. Or you can just never return, never visit.
Pho bac is an anomaly to what Americans consider to be delicious pho: it’s subtle, it’s bland, it wants not condiments nor accoutrements, it’s gingery and not heavily punched by anise
This article with origins in SF delineates the greatest pho bac differences. To this day, nothing in LA county even remotely resembles what is served at Pho Filet, a joint not too far from Pho Kim V, a joint previously covered in this space. Turtle Tower in SF, apparently, remains the ever lasting bench mark… Instead of pontificating on this pathetic mishap of a pho bac, just take a look at the picture below. No soft wide noodle, nary a hint of ginger. no minced beef.
PS: The cafe’s full name is Golden Cafe Pho Bac. You can just call it a bowl of crap.