A long time ago, during a trip to Los Angeles I stayed with an LA native who got violently ill. (I know. Its a horrible way to start out a story about food, but bear with me!)
She woke up violently ill and couldn’t eat or drink anything without wanting to bleach her guts, squish them into a wad, and throw them at the heavens!
At least thats what I thought, until around lunch time, pale in the face, she turned to me and announces “I need pho.” Starving, I didn’t question this..out loud. I said I would look up a place to go. She kind of laughed through the tinges of pain, and said that she could only eat pho from Pho Cafe. Everything else would only further her sickness.
Slightly confused, yet so fucking hungry I would have eaten that emotion if it were feasible, I said I would drive to this Pho Cafe and get us lunch. The directions led me into, what appeared to be an abandon strip mall with no signs to advertise any sort of miracle foods. But when I walked into one of these seemingly empty establishments, I found myself being greeted by a young polite server. I was in Pho Cafe.
Heres a list of the events that followed:
- I ordered.
- I brought the food to my ill friend.
- We ate the “pho tai gan”
- My life game changed
- Her face almost instantly perked back up
- We nearly floated and happy songs about food, sung by Stevie Wonder followed us for the rest of the day!
Heres the point of that story: Pho Cafe is more than just a Vietnamese restaurant. It changed the way I think of warm noodly soups. It cured my friends illness. PHO-R CHRIST SAKES, IT MADE STEVIE WONDER SING!
From that day forward, every time I’m in Los Angeles, I’ve made a point of having a meal there. I wish I could make you taste it, but all I can do is entice you with photos from my most recent time visiting the restaurant, with my friend Bee Jellyfish!
We started out with an order of the Goi Chon (spring rolls)
Then got the Pho Tai. It comes served with a mountain of fresh herbs, peppers, and sliced limes.
You can flavor it however you’d like.
Most people put hot peppers in their pho, but I like to douse mine with Sriracha sauce…
At the end of the meal. They give you a fortune cookie with some vague message that is supposed to be positively interpreted as compliment. I don’t even bother. I usually just smash it inside of the bag and think up my own pho-rtune.
My last one I made up was: God damn Chloe! You are a pho-bulous pho-cking pho-tographer