Pronounced variously as “fuh,” the Vietnamese soup known as pho consists of broth, linguine-shaped rice noodles called banh pho, herbs and meat, typically served with either chicken or beef. As a popular street food in Vietnam, pho has become the specialty of a number of restaurant chains around the world, including fad-conscious California, where a plethora of pho shops have sprung up in the blink of an eye.
It’s kind of interesting how Vietnam beef soup is being “dispersed” in L.A. – too many outlets in the San Gabriel Valley and too few anywhere west, it seems, of the 10/710 interchange. At some point, say food critics, the law of entropy will prevail and L.A. will begin seeing more pho joints that focus less on pale broths and more on simple, flavorful bowls of pho. However, for Woodland Hills residents, this time has come with a smattering of pho eateries that will not only knock your socks off, but go so far as to enhance your love of hot, beefy broth laced with cloves, cinnamon and charred ginger.
Here is our guide to finding fantastic pho in Woodland Hills…
Pho CA serves Vietnamese cuisine including hotpots, beef noodle soup, smoothies and boba, and has become the go-to pho joint for many Woodland Hills residents addicted to the savory soup. Prompt and friendly servers compliment a clean and welcoming interior with abundant indoor – and outdoor – seating, adding to the magnetic draw of this restaurant. And while an extreme level of freshness and flavor tends to attract young professionals to Pho CA, the boba and other food options makes this a family-friendly-approved eatery not to be missed.
Song Phat serves up unique and tasty Vietnamese cuisine on Woodland Hills’ Sherman Way like perhaps no other ethnic dining venue. Often considered the best place to get Vietnam food in the Valley, Song Phat delivers despite its unassuming exterior appearance – though unpretentious and sharing space in a plaza with a nail salon, cell phone store and Italian restaurant, this eatery makes you feel welcome the moment you step foot in the doorway. Song Phat cooks up some of the best regional Vietnamese food in the Valley, specializing in Northern/Central Vietnam-based dishes like Bun Bo Hue, bursting with tender meat and a generous amount of soft noodles. The quality of food and its unique taste is what separates Song Phat from other Vietnamese restaurants in L.A., with many regular customers returning to be treated like friends…not just a number.
Pho CT Asian Café cooks with authentic, fresh ingredients which yield healthy and delicious Vietnamese foods, including a plethora of vegetarian dishes. Established in 2012, Pho CT began life in the West San Fernando Valley in January of that year, quickly catching the attention of pho fans all over L.A. with its variety of authentic items such as Pho Beef Filet Mignon, Pho Chicken, Pho Shrimp, Rice with Grill Pork Chop, Rice with French-Style Filet Mignon, Rice with Hai Nam Chicken and Cool Vermicelli Salad with Grilled Chicken, Pork or Beef. The restaurant also offers tofu vegetarian options and serves as a live music venue for the West San Fernando Valley, when once a month a live jazz production plays for patrons as they dine. On Fridays and Saturdays, live pop and classic rock events bring crowds to Pho CT Asian Café in droves.
Pho So 1 is the perfect spot if you’re craving a hot bowl of pho, a rice dish, an appetizer or even just something for dessert. Not only specialists in pho-Vietnamese noodle soup, Pho So 1 also makes other authentic Vietnamese items to behold and savor including porridge and rice noodle soup, egg noodle dishes, bun (vermicelli), com (rice) and many more special gems. The first Pho So location opened in 1989 in Reseda, California and through the trust and support of its customers, the restaurant’s influence spread throughout Southern California and Nevada; to this day, Pho So’s mission remains providing its patrons with cuisine that oozes quality, integrity and enthusiasm.
Absolutely Phobulous is a relatively new local pho spot by Woodland Hills, located on Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana and serving fresh pho that’s loaded with flavor. Beyond the soup, the restaurant offers fresh tofu rolls, shrimp rolls, Jasmine Rice with Pork Chop and more, proving that Absolutely Phobulous is absolutely fabulous in the variety department. With a cozy, family-like setting and friendly, outgoing staff, this will definitely be one of the most unique pho shops you visit in Woodland Hills…and remember we recommended you try the truly excellent pho, if nothing else, brimming over with sweet and tangy flavors, rich and satisfying overtones, fresh veggies, tender cuts of meat and 100-percent authentic finishing touches.
When the weather is damp, the radio news guys talk about mudslides in L.A. and you just feel like slithering back into bed, there is no better restorative than a steaming bowl of pho. And when it comes to fantastic pho in Woodland Hills, the restaurants showcased in this roundup will have you thinking twice about being under those covers.