If you haven’t tried Pho yet, you’re seriously missing out. The Vietnamese food culture has taken the South Bay by storm! This is the first of a few of my Pho installments.
Pho Hiep Grill is a swank restaurant in the middle of what I like to call the Beverly Hills of San Diego. The ambience is unbeatable with an elegant bar and a water feature right when you enter. You can sit at outside tables all year long and the inside booths can be quaint. Mostly, come here for the exceptional food.
Are You A Foodie Adventurer?
If you’re a foodie adventurer then you’ll love some of their specials. Their signature dish: Traditional Grilled Whole Catfish. It comes with a platter of greens and rice paper to wrap, but you’ll have to allow for a 30 minute wait time. They’ve also got seasonal Maine lobster in garlic sauce, crispy salted shrimps, clams sauteed in light sauce with basil leaves… you get the picture. Lots of fish and shell fish to delight the palette. The Lau Hot Pots aren’t bad either, especially with the spicy sate.
Vegetarians! This is your mecca
Pho Hiep Grill also has a bevy of Vegetarian entrees, including tofu with tomato sauce, mock fish and the Buddha Delight in Clay Pot: bok choy, bamboo, baby corn, snow peas, and tofu served with Jasmine rice. Or try the Vietnamese Crepe, a kind of omelette with all sorts of vegetables inside.
More On The Conservative Side?
If you’re more on the conservative side, you’ll want to order the salt & pepper crispy chicken wings, the assorted shrimp & vegetable tempura or the Spring Rolls. There’s also the Lo Mein noodles, Pad Thai noodles and Vietnamese curry, all dishes you may recognize in other traditional Asian restaurants.
My favorite recommendation: Bun Tom Bo Nuong or grilled beef and shrimps combo. It’s truly divine:
What About The Pho?
Ah, yes, the Pho. This signature beef noodle soup comes with your choice of various beef cuts and fresh noodles. The pleasure of Pho resides in the broth, cooked to perfection with all sorts of secret ingredients. A highly intensive dish to make at home, the fun of coming out and eating Pho at restaurants is that the soup comes with a large plate of fresh bean sprouts, serrated coriander, Thai basil and jalapenos. You then get to sprinkle these cold items into the steaming hot soup and eat it with both a fork and a spoon.
They also have a large wine, beer and speciality drink list, including the Pho Hiep Pick-Me-Up Mai Tai. The Boba coffees and teas are also fun.
The menu is large, so come prepared to ask questions or check out their menu on-line.
Prices: Dishes run from about $9 to $15. Drinks are $3.25.
Address: 872 Eastlake Parkway, Suite 310, Chula Vista
They also have a second location: 539 Telegraph Canyon Road, Chula Vista
If you’re interested in how this wonderful community got here: Check out a little more history of the Vietnamese in San Diego.