Eatery - Pho 79 Restaurant (CA)

Pho 79 Restaurant - 9941 Hazard Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92643
Pricing - $ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Vietnamese | Reservations - Unnecessary

Cold winter day in Southern California - unusual but it seems to have been the norm lately. I believe it's just been uncommonly cold everywhere lately; all the more reason, however, to grab a bowl of hot, fantastic pho. My mom always makes this when I come home but I was meeting with a friend today and we opted to grab some of this delicious Vietnamese dish. I suggested this place since it has great pho from the times I've been and though it was a lot busier than I've seen before today (I was lucky enough to find parking in the small lot), we got seated fairly quickly. The service was quick since we got pho and that's their main selling dish (there are other things on the menu though, so don't worry). 

I ordered a medium bowl of Phở Tái Nạm Sách (pho with rare steak, flank, and tripe) for under $6. My friend got a large bowl of pho (I didn't know which kind) for under $8. The medium bowl was a good size for me because I did get quite full. They came with the standard plate of bean sprouts, fresh basil, lemon chunks, and chili peppers for adding in. I always put basil and bean sprouts in my pho. There was also plenty of hoisin sauce and sriracha for dipping! Because I'm weird, I like to eat all the meats in my pho first before starting on the noodles. The tripe was great but less than I had wanted; it's understandable though because it's a fairly expensive type. The flank was awesome with its inclusion of some fattiness. I think the best was the rare steak though because it was sliced very thinly and only partially cooked. The rest of the cooking of the meat comes from the heat of the soup (this is typical), so when I got my bowl, I pushed the meat underneath the rice noodles. The broth here is fantastic and though I'm not skilled enough yet to detect whether or not dishes have MSG, I'm pretty sure that there wasn't any here. It's quite a hearty feel-good beef broth, and the noodles themselves were just the right level of firmness. The noodle was plentiful and the onions fresh. I thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

I also ordered a Café Sữa Dá, which is the Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk. It was served with the filter, which was awesome. I always like this stuff and get it when I can at Vietnamese restaurants. The coffee was quite strong in a good way, and the condensed milk adds a certain sweetness to it that can't be replicated elsewhere. It was great here with a fair amount. I didn't look at the price though so I'm not sure how much it was. All in all, both meals and my coffee were just $17, which was great! Definitely come here if you want some delicious pho and have to eat it away from home. My mom still makes the best pho though!



  1. I had the Pho Dac Biet

  2. Ways to tell if your pho is real good (according to a very traditional Vietnamese father, related to Minerva by me):

    1. Real steaming boiling murdering hot.
    2. Clear liquid <! A must
    3. Fresh noodles

    The clear liquid is a must because you can tell how old (the more they heat, the darker it gets). Clear liquid also shows signs of a good broth, and what they use in it. For example, my mom uses real chicken and spices to make broth, the soup ends up seriously CLEAR-OH. :)