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“A hidden gem tucked into a mall”

Pho Hau Restaurant 2
Ranked #134 of 390 Restaurants in Lakewood
Cuisines: Asian, Vietnamese
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Waitstaff
Oceanside, California
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A hidden gem tucked into a mall”
Reviewed June 12, 2014

During a house remodel, we've had to eat out a lot in our hometown. Pho restaurants are great because the generous portions allow us to take home leftovers for the next night's meal. We stumbled on this one in a small mall near our gym. Trying it without having read any reviews, we were wonderfully surprised by the good food. On our first visit, I had #22 (rice noodle bowl with shrimp and I substituted chicken for pork), which was recommended as "the best dish in the restaurant" by the man who seated us. My husband had #23 (rice noodle bowl with fried tofu). Both come with a small egg roll.

The "bun" rice noodle bowls were a nice mix of cold noodles and a few vegetables (lettuce, carrots) with hot chicken/tofu. The tofu was okay, but the chicken was terrific--tender, flavorful, plentiful. It reminded us of tandoori chicken, which we both love. The sauce that comes with it is rather delicate, so we each supplemented it--I, with hoisin sauce; my husband, with Sriracha. The next time, we both ordered #22 with chicken.

Obviously, we haven't sampled a wide variety of items on the menu. (Why mess with extreme success?) But we did notice that all of the "pho" noodle bowls, with one meatless exception, was made with beef broth. That seemed odd and a bit disappointing, since the chicken there was so wonderful (and we're not that fond of beef broth).

The atmosphere is hardly great (note the earlier review's comment about the music), but the service has always been very fast. Don't let the mediocre look of the surrounding mall turn you off to trying this little hidden gem.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ztsipapu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    4
    7
    2
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
130 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
“Good Pho, lousy music!”
Reviewed March 12, 2014

If you can tolerate the repetitive (and loud) elevator ABBA and Carpenters music from the 80s, you are in for a special treat.

I ordered the basic Pho Tai (#31) on the menu. It was served with ample side portions of parsley and basil, lime, jalepeno & soy sprouts.

The broth is very good, the meat came pink in the bowl which is how I like it. I do wish the quality of meat were a little better, or that they offered an organic Pho with organic/grass fed pho, (still searching), but for the price it was a very good meal and the beef was properly sliced. No alcoholic beverages here, but plenty of teas and smoothies. A surprise find in the King Soopers Green Mountain parking lot.

The condiments are kept clean and neatly placed on the table and the restaurant seemed to be spotless. There wasn't even dust on the ceiling this place is so clean. They obviously take pride. The only downside is the terribly loud music. It would be so much better if they could lower the volume and choose something different. The music just makes me want to eat and get out fast.

Worth a visit if you are in the area and craving Pho.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Xajiks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fair Oaks, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Good pho”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

I'm from West Coast and used to very good Vietnamese food. This is a decent representation. Iwill be back.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jtzr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
42 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Superb Pho, generous with meat and seafood, spotless tables”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

The pho here is fabulous, the best I've had in the Denver area. The staff are friendly, service is quick and everything is really, really clean. The portions are big as you would expect from a pho place but they are also very generous with the beef and seafood if you order non-veg.At $6.95 for the medium beef pho it's a great value. Have only had the pho (30+ times) so can not comment on the other dishes.

The strip-mall location and dining hall atmosphere probably take this place off the list for a special occasion or a fancy date, but for everything else it's golden.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mlalahoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The best pho restaurants are always in strip malls”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

And Pho Hau is no exception. From the outside, it's an unassuming place you might overlook. I won't make that mistake again! This place has great pho and excellent friendly service in a squeaky clean setting. You can dine in or phone ahead for takeout. We had an early dinner on a snowy April evening and there was a steady flow of customers picking up their orders.

Husband had a noodle bowl that came with spring rolls--large and tasty. I had the meatball pho, and a medium sized bowl is big enough for dinner with leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. We also tried the fried tofu appetizer--very tasty and not greasy at all.

We absolutely will be back. So glad this place is in our neighborhood!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank HotDogCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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