Pho Show just had their grand opening this week, so I went to visit for dinner tonight since it’s so close to my office. Since it’s on the west side and it is called Pho Show, I didn’t go in with my expectations too high.
While waiting for the rest of my party to arrive, I ordered a Thai iced tea. I was surprised when it came because it looked a bit browner than the usual orange stuff I get at the restaurants in the SGV. It tastes less sweet and more bitter than the usual Thai iced tea, but I liked it. I don’t like it when the iced tea is too creamy or sweet, but this was definitely not the usual Thai iced tea people are used to.
The menu has your usual appetizers of egg rolls, spring rolls, shrimp rolls, and being on the west side, vegetarian rolls. The pho section has all your typical combinations of meat in broth including chicken, shrimp, beef tendon, and my favorite, beef tripe. I’m glad they weren’t scared to put the tendon and tripe on the menu. It also has a vegetarian bowl of pho apparently, but I didn’t get a chance to confirm if the broth was vegetarian as well. For those who don’t like pho, there’s also a rice section with steamed and fried rice and different toppings.
I ordered the pho with rare slices of beef, tendon, tripe, and beef balls. After a long wait, all of the tables had customers, my bowl of pho finally came. I was disappointed to see that the rare slices of beef were already in the bowl and fully cooked instead of raw and on a separate plate. The broth wasn’t as beefy and deep as most of the places in the SGV, and the noodles tasted like they had been pre-cooked and sitting in a clump for a long time –l stuck together and tasteless.
Even though I added ample hoisin sauce, herbs, jalapeno, and bean sprouts from the herb plate they brought out, I couldn’t make the broth flavorful enough. It was just too bland. It wasn’t until I was halfway done with my bowl that I noticed there were no beef balls in it. By then, I was pretty full and didn’t want to bother the already swamped kitchen, but next time I’ll definitely check all the contents of my bowl before digging in.
Other than the relative closeness to my house and them being veggie friendly, another good thing about Pho Show is that despite the “west side tax,” the food was at a reasonable price. My bowl of pho (small — but more than I can eat) and a Thai Iced tea just came out to be $11-12 including tip.
While Pho Show has ample room for improvement in regards to the broth, with the gas prices as they are, I can see myself eating here when I’m craving pho and too lazy to battle traffic to go to the SGV. I was really looking forward to this place opening and having delicious broth. Maybe it’s just the restaurant going through first week frenzies, but I do hope that they work on the broth more and get their timing right with the noodles.
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4349 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230