For reasons still unknown to me, I ate five bowls of pho in the last 10 days. I guess you can say I had a craving.
I visited Pho Ha (both the Pomona location on Indian Hill and Holt and the Rancho location on Foothill and Hellman), #1 Pho Noodle and Grill on Foothill and Rochester in Rancho, Pho Vi on Thomas and 3rd in Pomona and Saigon Chinese and Vietnamese on Foothill near Etiwanda in Rancho.
the winner for best pho in the last 10 days goes to … Pho Ha. Both
locations are good but the Rancho site wins by a hair for wonderful
people-watching opportunities and proximity to a frozen yogurt joint.
I asked the Pho Ha owner what the difference is between the two restaurants. She said customers in Rancho eat more.
Ha, at the Chuck E. Cheese center, is always brimming with people.
During the lunch hour, the people slurping up the Vietnamese noodles
are a diverse group of working class families, hospital workers, suit
types, etc. When I ate a 9 p.m. dinner last week, there were men behind
me who spoke a combination of Vietnamese and English, the two ladies
next to me gossiped in Spanish and the family in front of me spoke
Mandarin. This isn’t your grandmother’s Cucamonga, that’s for sure.
I eat pho, I’m usually a rare steak kinda gal. If I’m eating with
someone who’s not squeamish, I’ll get brisket and tripe. Recently, I’ve
been getting the vegetarian pho, which at Pho Ha, is a big salad in
soup. In addition to the rice noodles, there’s tofu, napa cabbage,
onion, carrot, baby corn, green onion, cilantro and shitake mushrooms.
If you include all the fixings, there’s also basil, bean sprouts,
jalapenos and if you’re lucky, green leaf lettuce.
In the West Valley, all the pho places I’ve tried are good but Pho Ha and Pho Vi are
the only two I recommend with no reservations. Remember, pronounce it
“fuh” not “foe.”
Other restaurants I’ve tried before but not in the last 10 days: Pho Century in Upland; Pho Express and Pho Hoa Pasteur in Pomona; Pho 2007 in Chino Hills.
Restaurants I’ve never tried before: Pho Saigon on Base Line and Carnelian in Rancho; California Noodle and Grill in Chino; Pho Nguyen in Fontana and Pho Vietrica in Ontario.
Am I forgetting any?