New pho worth a try



AMELIE LEE Pho noodles and shrimp spring rolls with peanut sauce are served at the newly opened Pho Ha, located at the old Bob’s Big Boy location. The restaurant also offers various other types of Vietnamese food and drinks.

Catherine Liu, Contributing Writer

Pho has always been my family’s favorite cuisine, as it blends sweet and sour flavors with the addition of fresh herbs that satisfy my family’s differing taste buds.

Excited at the prospect of eating Vietnamese-styled dishes, my family and I decided to dine at the new Pho Ha restaurant on Golden Springs Drive in Diamond Bar, replacing the previous burger restaurant, Bob’s Big Boy.

Pho Ha was busy for a Monday night, but we did not have to wait to be seated, as a waiter briskly led us to  a long table near the window. While we waited for the food to arrive, I noticed that the restaurant had more than enough waiters and waitresses bustling around to meet the needs of the large number of customers that were packed in the restaurant.

As I looked around the new restaurant, I was struck by the Oriental-style paintings that hung on the walls of the spacious room, along with the bamboo partition, which seemed to add to the modern look and theme of the restaurant.

I decided to try the charbroiled pork and egg roll rice vermicelli, which costs $9.45, while my younger sister ordered the House Special Pad Thai with shrimp and beef for $10.45. Meanwhile, my mom got the House Special Combo Beef noodle soup for $9.45, and my older sister got the Vietnamese cold cut sandwich for $4.75.

Served in a black bowl with sauce on the side, the rice vermicelli meal looked very appealing, as the colors of the ingredients contrasted beautifully with the rippled bowl.

Although I was worried about the sauce overpowering the dish, it brought the whole palate together. I enjoyed the contrast in texture of the crushed peanuts in the sauce provided along the hint of sweetness from the sweet and sour sauce. Even though I enjoyed the texture of the pad Thai noodles, I felt that there was a lack of flavor in the ingredients; I had to drizzle Sriracha on the noodles to make up for the blandness.

On the other hand, the beef noodle soup that my mom ordered did not disappoint. Like all other pho dishes, the special had a strong beef flavor with the perfect amount of heat and tang from the addition of lime and jalapenos that satisfied my taste buds.

Although the store had a mix up with our sandwich order, the waiter immediately corrected it when we realized the issue and brought us the correct meal within minutes.

When taking a bite of the sandwich, I felt as though the texture of the cold cuts seemed quite mushy at first, but the crispness of the bread and freshness of the vegetables managed to pull the dish together.

Overall, the portions were definitely more than enough to be shared and the service was amazing. I definitely like Pho Ha more compared to other pho restaurants I have visited because of the welcoming atmosphere and modern interior. I am already planning more visits with my friends and family.