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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pho Ha Vietnamese Restaurant - Pomona

Rainy weather = soup. And no other soup hits the spot like a steaming bowl of pho.

Apparently everyone else felt the same way. There was a small line of about half a dozen people waiting for a seat at Pho Ha in Pomona.

I was pretty surprised actually. I mean, this is the Inland Valley. Why would anyone opt for Vietnamese food outside of Little Saigon? But hey, not all Vietnamese Americans live in the OC.

There's a small cluster of Vietnamese restaurants, a fairly large grocery store, and other businesses around the intersection of Indian Hill and Holt in Pomona. It's been nearly a decade since I've eaten at Pho Ha. This used to be an occasional lunch spot when I worked out here a long, long time ago. I remembered it as bare-bones. And that the pho was so greasy that a dribble on the table had congealed by the end of the meal.

That's not the case anymore. The restaurant has now expanded into the shop next door to double its size. The walls are a warm, muted autumn orangey-brown. The customers ranged from a large Mexican family to a mixed group of mechanics to Claremont college students.

The best part was that my bowl of pho had a light, clear broth that was still very flavorful without being overpowering. So good that I even slurped the broth after eating what seemed like a never-ending bowl of noodles. Seriously, Pho Ha gives you quite a lot of noodles.

No grease dribbles this time around.

The regular bowl is $4.85, extra large $5.35. I have no idea why there's no size large. I ordered the #3 with rare slices of steak, well-done flank, brisket, tendon, and tripe. I love me my tripe, but was sad that there wasn't very much of it. The steak was thinly sliced and perfect. The tendon was nicely chewy without being fatty at all. Or maybe I'm confusing that with fatty brisket, which wasn't fatty either.

Maybe it was the rainy weather, or the morning of Christmas shopping, but this was a seriously satisfying bowl of pho. Not a drive out from OC bowl of pho. But definitely a coming back from Vegas along the 10 freeway, or coming back from outlet or mall shopping, bowl of pho stop.

The menu features 110 items from hu tieu (rice noodle), mi (egg noodle), bun (vermicelli noodles), banh hoi (steamed vermicelli noodle sheets), beef stew, rice plates, stir-fries, vegetarian, and specials. But when a restaurant is named after a particular dish, take their built-in recommendation and order that dish.

Pho Ha Vietnamese Restaurant

695 N. Indian Hill Blvd.

Pomona, CA 91767



  1. oh man, memory lane. how I miss.


    p.s. is fulin still on mt.view rd.?

  2. Hey Bill, there's a Fulin on Central in Montclair, down the street from the mall. Is that what you mean? Is it good?

  3. Oh boy it is good!!!!!
    Fulin should be on the south side of the I10 unless they moved, not a pretty lookin place but the food is wonderful. I like the deep fried low mein stick they put out, request hot mustard and sweet sour sauce for it. Yummy.

    The Garlic fried shrimp - literally die for.

    Sweet and sour soup - good starter I think.

    The Korean style sweet and sour beef is good. I don't think is on the menu you have to request it.

    It's been awhile since I have been. A little histroy on the Fulin. Korean chef born in China and raise in China. How do I know? My friend is Korean and he lives in Claremont and my friend's dad re-roof his restaraunt for him.
    So pretty much you get Chinese and Korean fusion, by request that is.

    Sorry about the long post.


  4. Pho Ha is my dad's favorite pho joint! So glad you blogged it. He eats there at least three times a week, since he lives in Diamond Bar. I make the trek from OC to the 909 about once a month to join him for a bowl of pho chin nac. It never fails that each time, my dad will remind the waiter to bring out clear broth, easy on the fat: "Nuoc trong, it mo nhe?" I have to say, the broth there probably beats most of the joints in LS.

  5. Noodlegirl,

    I wouldn't say it's better than pho in Little Saigon...But it is pretty good pho for where it's located.

  6. id say its way better then pho in LS!!! they taste great without all the fat..and plus they give u nice portions...the pho in Little saigon taste ehhh bland...but this ones good

  7. Anon,
    There are 650 restaurants in Little Saigon. Have you eaten at every single pho restaurant? I'm not saying it's not good, just that that's quite a boast to make. Especially from an anonymous person.


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