Long Beach is second to none when it comes to Southeast Asian cuisine. The city has great and voluminous Thai options and arguably the greatest selection and quality of Cambodian food outside of Cambodia itself. And then there are Long Beach’s Vietnamese restaurants, serving an amazing amalgam of simple and complicated, traditional and fusion dishes ranging from pho and banh mi to vegan options, chicken wings and French beignets. With all that in mind, and mindful that the number six is considered one of the luckiest in Vietnamese culture, we offer you half a dozen Vietnamese eateries to check out.
Located just a few steps off Downtown Long Beach’s Promenade, 123 Pho (210 E. 3rd St.) is popular with those who work in the area or head there for entertainment. Ultra clean and modern, 123 Pho hums with conversation at lunchtime as students, artists, business-types and government workers gather to enjoy such staples as pho, banh mi and bao in an atmosphere encouraging crosstalk and light spirits. If you want to continue the conversation after your meal is finished, order a Vietnamese Coffee, smoothie or hibiscus tea to keep things going.
Pho Hong Phat
Though its menu is fairly wide-ranging, the reason Pho Hong Phat is one of the city’s most popular spots for Vietnamese cuisine rests largely around beef. Beef pho to be exact, which this small, usually packed, usually loud gem offers in nearly 20 different varities. From rare flanks to beef balls, if you like red meat, you’ll love this place. Try the the #10, the Pho Tai Gan Xach, a meaty concoction of rare steak, tendon and tripe, and feel free to do like locals and add meatballs to it.
Mangosteen Vietnamese Kitchen
We Love Pho 2
As the name suggests, this place loves serving pho. That’s a given. But We Love Pho 2 also serves a lot of terrific non-pho options, including chicken sings, cooked to a crisp and served in a sauce glazed over the wings. Since everything is made to order, the food is always fresh. The House Special vermicelli is nice and light but offers a good portion of noodles, pork, shrimp and egg rolls. It also offers a nice patio to enjoy your selections.