Lemongrass chile chicken at Pho Original 

click to enlarge GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell

Pho Original, 4747 Flintridge Drive, 374-4935, phooriginalco.com

We wish all the best to the owners of Pho Original, who, as of Sept. 15, have been open for a full year in a spot that has basically zero street visibility. Fingers crossed the location won’t be a long-term obstacle, as on our visit, we find ourselves fed full on some delicious food.

Start with stir-fry: We order ga xao xa ot, or lemongrass chile chicken. Thin pieces of white-meat chicken meet white and green onions and green bell peppers, all stir-fried with plenty of lemongrass, red chile flakes and fish sauce, with rice on the side. Simple. But there’s a powerful savoriness playing nice with the lemongrass herbaceousness — enjoyable at a heat we’d call medium to medium-hot.

Only caveat: It’s an oily dish, and when we lift the garnishing lettuce leaves, we find a puddle that dripped off the food. We try pho, a little less fatty, and get a massive “medium” bowl with steak and brisket. Expect a sweet, rich broth and longer-than-we’re-used-to noodles.

Steak and brisket both do fine, and for a twist, we use a small side bowl to blend broth with a touch of hoisin for dipping the meat, which turns out beautifully.


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