What the Pho? Is Vietnamese the New Chinese?



A simple search for Chinese quick service restaurants in any Los Angeles neighborhood typically reveals a small handful of entries that receive lackluster ratings from patrons posting on review sites. The objects of their criticism are establishments that all too often offer food of questionable appeal served from steam table trays with cafeteria style cues.

Into this vacuum of uninspiring offerings has emerged an ethnic cuisine that, while known to many, has not become mainstream like their better-established neighbor from the north. Vietnamese offerings, especially the broth and noodle-based Pho, are proliferating and finding their place. In the vanguard of this wave is Kimmy Tang’s 9021Pho in Beverly Hills and Westlake Village. Miss Tang, formerly of Michelia, has created a full and varied menu at very modest prices, earning a best buy rating from Zagat and a loyal following of health conscious diners who are not willing to sacrifice flavor.

Far from a mom and pop, Kimmy and President Greg Aghamanoukian, formerly CFO of Wolfgang Puck, are creating welcoming hip environments for diners seeking a more sophisticated Southeast Asian dining experience. The menu offers rolls, dumplings and pot stickers for appetizers, a full complement of the namesake Pho options as well as salads and very appealing entrees such as tamarind chicken and crispy sole. Kimmy Tang’s philosophy has always been to create meals that are both good for your health and as delicious as more fattening comfort foods.

The result is a fine dining experience with the unexpected benefit of a fast casual price point. Kimmy and Greg have just announced an agreement on a new Glendale Location and are planning for rapid expansion here in Southern California and other western markets. If the crowds at Kimmy’s first two stores are any indication, Vietnamese fare may very well supplant Chinese as the preferred Asian cuisine in the west and beyond.

For more information, please visit http://www.9021pho.com.