Since I don't live any where near Garden Grove, my choices for decent Vietnamese food are limited. However there is one restaurant nearby that has a better than average bowl of pho: Pho 2000. Pho 2000 is actually a chain of pho restaurants located throughout the southland which started with the Koreatown location. As such, their servers and clientele are primarily Korean, although their ownership and cooks may in fact be Vietnamese.
For the most part, they only serve one thing: pho. It comes in the usual variations found at many of the more authentic Vietnamese restaurants—that means sliced beef brisket, steak, tripe, tendon, fish balls, and the like. The one unusual and particularly tasty variation is their oxtail pho, which comes with plain noodles and a side bowl filled with tender shreds of oxtail meat. Aside from the pho, they offer two appetizers/sides: spring rolls or egg rolls. Today I had the special combo (brisket, steak, tripe, tendon) with a side of egg rolls.
The food came fast, as in the I'll-have-the-oh-it's-here variety. In fact the pho was so fast, it preceded the appetizer, egg rolls.
The egg rolls were pretty good. It looked as though they were filled with pork, carrots, cabbage, and noodles. The flavor was up front, and was complimented well with the sweet and sour dipping sauce.
One thing about pho, I like it like I like my women: hot, spicy, and unhealthily red. Here's a before:
I even eased back a little on the Sriracha.
The soup had a good flavor, even with the Sriracha, and the noodles weren't too hard or too soft, as long as they don't sit for a while in the soup. As for the meats, they were typical, although today's tendon was especially well-cooked. Unlike some pho places, they only have one serving size (excepting the super bowl) but it's a very filling portion.
I'm glad I'm lucky enough to have a Pho 2000 nearby, since Garden Grove and even Monterey Park are quite a ways away. It's cheap (about $8 per bowl), it's filling, and it's tasty. I couldn't ask for much more.
Some other notes about Pho 2000:
5 out of 5 on my ready-to-eat-o-meter, meaning the food magically appears on your table before you're even finished ordering.
0-10 out of 10 on my spice-o-meter. With no Sriracha = 0. With a level 10 Sriracha = sweating, tears, and moaning in a fetal position.
215 N. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004