Restaurant of the Week: Saigon Noodle House

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Saigon Noodle House, 1136 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. (at Grand), Diamond Bar

This is my first Diamond Bar Restaurant of the Week. I found this Vietnamese spot on Yelp, where it has strong ratings and lots of ’em. Two friends and I ventured down for dinner on Oscar night. It’s not far from the 57.

The place was full at 7:30, with a short wait, showing its popularity. We shared an order of spring rolls. One had salmon fried rice (bottom), the other had vegetarian pho and I had beef pho (below). Sorry, the menu isn’t online and I didn’t note any of the prices, but our total was about $25, pretty cheap for dinner for three.

My friends liked the salmon fried rice, which as you can see had a hunk of salmon on it, and they thought the rice was way better than average. And we liked our pho, which is a noodle soup, if you’re unfamiliar. “It has a lot of MSG in it, which is why it’s so good,” one said.

Service was hurried but unexpectedly friendly. When I ordered the regular pho rather than large, he asked about that, and at first I thought he hadn’t heard me. But no, he was joking about why I was ordering the smaller size. Heh. It was a good choice, being just the right amount for how hungry I was, but I appreciated the playfulness.

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Restaurant of the Week: Pho N Mor

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Pho N Mor, 3233 Grand Ave. (at Peyton), Chino Hills

The Albertsons center in Chino Hills reflects the city’s growing Asian population: There are Japanese, Chinese and Korean restaurants and a foot massage business, and now there’s Pho N Mor, which has Vietnamese food and opened in late 2011. I haven’t done a comprehensive survey, but there may be only one other Vietnamese restaurant in Chino Hills.

I had lunch at Pho N Mor recently with a friend. It’s decorated in modern style, making the most of a small space, and surrounded by windows on two sides, letting in plenty of natural light. Service was friendly and many tables were occupied.

It was a hot day and I wasn’t in the mood for a bowl of pho, the popular Vietnamese soup, so I opted for broken rice with barbecued pork ($6.75, pictured), plus a mango smoothie ($3.25). My friend opted for pad Thai with chicken ($8).

I liked my dish, but they used regular rice, not the variety known as broken rice. The mango smoothie was a mango freeze, made with crushed ice, not milk. The pad Thai looked good, but of course, that’s Thai, not Vietnamese.

So, a mixed verdict: As a sort of entry-level Vietnamese experience, this was fine, but aficionados would probably want to head to Diamond Bar, Chino or Pomona.

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