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Sobaicecream

Pho in Oahu

8 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

I'll be in Oahu soon and need to find good pho (can't get it where I am)! I did a search on this forum but turned up zero results. Can anyone help me out? Or better yet, guide me to the best pho? I know there are tons of Vietnamese restaurants in Chinatown, but I only have two days!

Thanks!

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Many people think the best pho in Hawaii is at To Chau in Chinatown, 1007 River Street, off the corner of Hotel Street. You'll recognize it by the line of patrons waiting outside! The place next door on the corner of Hotel Street & River Street isn't bad, either, and also makes a mean Vietnamese iced coffee. (I've forgotten the name of that restaurant.)

Get to either place before noon. No reservations, no credit cards.


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Hmm . . . Pho is an intensely personal thing, and different people may have deeply held but diametrically opposed beliefs about the "musts" and "nevers" for decent pho.

That being said, I'm sorry to say that there isn't any one place in Honolulu that is generally considered to stand up above the rest in serving a superior pho. There are plenty of places with "pho" in their names, but . . .

One pho specializer downtown that seem to be popular with both local and Vietnamese patrons is Pho 97, but unfortunately I don't get downtown that often and haven't had a chance yet to try it. . .


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Many people think the best pho in Hawaii is at To Chau in Chinatown, 1007 River Street, off the corner of Hotel Street. You'll recognize it by the line of patrons waiting outside! The place next door on the corner of Hotel Street & River Street isn't bad, either, and also makes a mean Vietnamese iced coffee. (I've forgotten the name of that restaurant.)

Get to either place before noon. No reservations, no credit cards.

That restaurant on the corner is actually Golden River now, it used to be known as Ha Bien. I actually enjoy the pho dac biet at Bac Nam which is not located in the downtown/Chinatown area.

Sun Ki's recommendation of Pho 97 is a good one. I've been there a couple of times and have enjoyed it. If you like pho with a strong anise flavor and don't mind poor service, you can try Pho My Lan. I was just there a few weeks ago.

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Many people think the best pho in Hawaii is at To Chau in Chinatown, 1007 River Street, off the corner of Hotel Street. You'll recognize it by the line of patrons waiting outside! The place next door on the corner of Hotel Street & River Street isn't bad, either, and also makes a mean Vietnamese iced coffee. (I've forgotten the name of that restaurant.)

Get to either place before noon. No reservations, no credit cards.

That restaurant on the corner is actually Golden River now, it used to be known as Ha Bien. I actually enjoy the pho dac biet at Bac Nam which is not located in the downtown/Chinatown area.

Sun Ki's recommendation of Pho 97 is a good one. I've been there a couple of times and have enjoyed it. If you like pho with a strong anise flavor and don't mind poor service, you can try Pho My Lan. I was just there a few weeks ago.

Thanks for the info everyone! I realize pho isn't the first thing people think about in relation to Hawaii, but what you've got is better than anything in Tokyo.

Hey Suzy,

Thanks for the additional tip on the Vietnamese iced coffee--yum.

Sun Ki, I'm not a connoisseur, but some important factors for me is that the beef soup has to be clear (not cloudy), there should be a respectable selection of chilli sauces and other condiments, the noodles shouldn't be at all stuck together, and it should come with lots of bean sprouts and basil. Ah, I can't wait!

By the way, is the one you mentioned that's downtown--Pho 97--behind the Ala Moana shopping center? Because I went to one there that wasn't too bad.

Hi Reid, love your blog, by the way. So do you think Bac Nam's better than Pho 97 or Pho My Lan? Is there any main differences among the three?

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Pho 97 is at the Maunakea Street entrance to the Maunakea Market. It's one of our favorite places for Vietnamese food. It's been a while since I've had their pho, tho, since we're busy working our way through their menu. I had #17 last trip, separate cup of broth and bowl of noodles and seafood stuff. Reminded me of something in Japan out in the boonies, couldn't find it in Tokyo.

Bac Nam on King Street is worth a visit. I haven't tried their pho. See skchai's writeup here.

Cheerz,

--Larry

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Many people think the best pho in Hawaii is at To Chau in Chinatown, 1007 River Street, off the corner of Hotel Street. You'll recognize it by the line of patrons waiting outside! The place next door on the corner of Hotel Street & River Street isn't bad, either, and also makes a mean Vietnamese iced coffee. (I've forgotten the name of that restaurant.)

Get to either place before noon. No reservations, no credit cards.

That restaurant on the corner is actually Golden River now, it used to be known as Ha Bien. I actually enjoy the pho dac biet at Bac Nam which is not located in the downtown/Chinatown area.

Sun Ki's recommendation of Pho 97 is a good one. I've been there a couple of times and have enjoyed it. If you like pho with a strong anise flavor and don't mind poor service, you can try Pho My Lan. I was just there a few weeks ago.

Thanks for the info everyone! I realize pho isn't the first thing people think about in relation to Hawaii, but what you've got is better than anything in Tokyo.

Hey Suzy,

Thanks for the additional tip on the Vietnamese iced coffee--yum.

Sun Ki, I'm not a connoisseur, but some important factors for me is that the beef soup has to be clear (not cloudy), there should be a respectable selection of chilli sauces and other condiments, the noodles shouldn't be at all stuck together, and it should come with lots of bean sprouts and basil. Ah, I can't wait!

By the way, is the one you mentioned that's downtown--Pho 97--behind the Ala Moana shopping center? Because I went to one there that wasn't too bad.

Hi Reid, love your blog, by the way. So do you think Bac Nam's better than Pho 97 or Pho My Lan? Is there any main differences among the three?

Hi Sobaicecream,

Thanks for the compliment on my blog.

The restaurant that was behind Ala Moana as you call it, is Annam. It is now located on Ward Avenue next to the Kanai Tofu Factory. The pho there is quite good, but I haven't had it in a while.

Pho 97 and Bac Nam both do pho really well. If that is the only thing that you want to eat, and if you're going to be in the Chinatown area, I would say to definitely give Pho 97 a try. Having said that, Bac Nam is my favorite Vietnamese restaurant. I've eaten about 40 or so dishes from the menu thus far and have not been disappointed with a single dish. The prices are a little higher, but you do get great quality there. Which ever place you choose, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Sobaicecream,

You should definitely have pho at Pho 97. I was there a few days ago and I will be posting about it on my blog this Thursday evening (08/11).

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