Pho Que Huong – Honolulu, HI

This may be a controversial statement, but I feel like the pho I have had in Vietnamese restaurants have been generally the same. Of course there are going to be nicer restaurants that offer better broths, but I am not locked down to a specific restaurant because I know I can get a good bowl of pho in most restaurants. Pho Que Huong is the newest Vietnamese Restaurant in Chinatown and after viewing pictures on Yelp, I had to try it. For the pho? Sure, gotta have that…but mainly for the Prawns dish! I’m a sucker for prawns. Pics time!

Medium Pho • $9.00

Great bowl of pho, tasted delicious. I liked that they served up the raw meat with raw onions. Doesn’t the meat look nice and red? It was a good bowl of pho, was it something that knocked my socks off? No, but it was good.

Tom Kho Tau (Prawns in Roe Sauce) • $15.00

At first look, $15 for two prawns doesn’t seem like a great value. However, if you go to Romy’s in the North Shore and order a Prawn plate, you get three big prawns for over $25 so maybe it’s not a terrible deal. Although, I should probably just go to a seafood market and buy my own prawns to make a dish. Sorry, I got sidetracked.

This was a great dish, it is savory in a salty, fishy (in a good way), and caramelized sauce. Very flavorful. It was so awesome to put some of the sauce onto the rice…and the heads of prawns have the best “miso” to eat! I was very happy to eat this, would I order it again? It’s a bit pricey so it’s not going to be a mainstay but a once-in-a-while treat is nice! This is a great restaurant because they serve a variety of dishes – I consider it a very full menu with some dishes you can’t find elsewhere. Parking, this is in Chinatown so you should already guess how that goes. We parked in a private lot across the street and paid $2 for an hour, we were able to dine in the restaurant and leave within the hour.

Pho Thinh – Moilili, HI

Pho Thinh is my absolute favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Hawaii. When my friend first told me about this restaurant, all she could boast about was their cleanliness. Is that a factor for me in dining…eh…not necessarily. We all know Chinese restaurants aren’t the cleanest restaurants but they serve up some good grub. Well this restaurant is not only insanely clean (NO REALLY), check the sauce containers on your table. Not a single crumb or crust on their condiments. Vegetables? Meticulously cleaned vegetables…you can just tell they take pride not only in their food but in the full restaurant experience. They usually close for about a month every year to visit home but they took that trip this year already! So go and try them out! They are located in the same place as Wagaya Ramen. Parking can be a bit difficult but it’s worth it.

Large Combination Pho • $11.50

Do you see that clear broth? Don’t let the light clear broth fool you, it is seasoned just right. No overwhelming spices, just delicious food. Ahh…I’ve been on such a pho kick lately that I just want to come back already!

Bun Rieu • $11.50
Vietnamese Crab & Tomato Noodle Soup

This is a specialty dish they serve only on Fridays and Saturdays. I love it and they make it awesome, the best I’ve had from a restaurant here. There is also curly vegetables that accompany this broth. I don’t know the vegetable, I want to say it’s the stalky part of ong choi that they slice and curl up. Anyone can confirm? Shucks, wish I got a pic of it for you folks.

Pork Banh Mi • $8.50

No shame in my game, I got this sandwich too. Yup. I ate my pho and got this too. To be fair to myself, I only ate half and took the rest home, is that okay? Haha…so this was the second time I got it and I liked it both times even if it was different both times. The pork this time had a char siu red look to the edges…I don’t remember that the first time. I want to say the first time, this sandwich came with cilantro but the second time it didn’t. I really really enjoy cilantro which is why I didn’t enjoy the sandwich as much the second time. They also spread a bit of pate on the sandwich but the taste is quite mild so I enjoyed it. You gotta try it!

Birthday Blunder

Okay, maybe this is just me getting old but I’m going to just associate it with having higher standards. Today is my cousin’s birthday and I wanted to treat her to a birthday breakfast. We weren’t sure where to go but finally decided on The Alley Restaurant. I have heard nothing but great things about this restaurant and finally got a chance to give them a try. Well we check in early this morning with 3 small kids and 3 adults in tow, the restaurant is pretty empty and we ask if we can sit in a booth. The hostess coldly responds that booths cannot hold 6 people. Okay, that’s fine. She lets us know that they just need to set up a table for us and asked us to wait outside.

So we’re waiting outside with three rowdy kids that surely doesn’t put me in a better mood. I figure all the empty tables inside shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to set up for us…I mean all they really have to do is push two tables together right? So the time is ticking by and I watch as all these smaller parties walk right in and get seated. I’m getting pretty heated at this point and after 15 minutes, we send someone in to ask about our table. The same hostess tells us the same dang thing, we are just waiting for a waiter to set up the table. I was pretty hopping mad at that point and left, we told her to cancel the table. I don’t understand why only that waiter can set up the table when I saw about 5 workers running around the front of the house. Secondly, all these new tables that just came in will now surely take more of the waiter’s time. The hostess’ pilau attitude just pushed me over the edge. Will I ever taste this restaurant’s food? Not likely now.

Anyway, we ended up going further down the road and tried Pho Five-O for the first time. They had two young men working the front of the house and they were very friendly and efficient. It was nice to see good mannered youngins for a change (gosh I sound so old). They had some pretty good dishes, I appreciated their combination plates. I think their pho was just okay, it didn’t have as much seasoning (spices) as the ones in town.

141228-01This is the summer roll that comes with their combinations. Cute yah?

141228-02Vietnamese Beef Stew over Noodles – verdict? Thumbs up!

141228-03My pho – like I said, not as spiced as I prefer.

Aloha Vietnamese Foods – Moilili, HI

Aloha Vietnamese Foods (aka Aloha Pho on Yelp) is located in the same lot as Sweet Home Cafe so if you plan to come during dinner, expect a struggle in finding parking. I’ve seen some great reviews for this place so I wanted to give it a try. My experience was a bit lackluster. I thought the food was okay but they were super short-staffed so service was very slow. I somehow wish that since they have such a small staff that they would lessen the tables they have in the restaurant – there’s no sense in seating so many people if you can’t keep up with their orders.



141115-03Oxtail Curry with Rice

I was really looking forward to trying this dish. I love coconut milk based curry and oxtail is always winners. How was the dish? It was good, not great. I feel like there is something missing from it. It was a bit sweet for my taste – I feel like it was missing some kind of spice. I can’t pinpoint it – but I do wish more Vietnamese restaurants had this dish so I can try different variations!


141115-05Pho – nothing special but not bad. I think the portion is a bit small. This place is all right but I’m not sure I would add it to my dining rotation…


Pho Thinh – Moilili, HI

I’ve mentioned on my blog before that I enjoy Pho Bistro 2 and also mentioned that I enjoy Pho Thinh. I am now here to some pictures at a recent meal! They serve this dish called Bun Rieu which is a Crab Noodle Soup. It is so delicious! I took my three brothers one Saturday afternoon and it was a great meal. Kids love pho, did you know? Anyhow, the staff is great there and everything is so CLEAN. You gotta check it out, everything is obsessively clean and everything tastes great. Here are my pictures.

140308-01Doesn’t that look great? Shrimp and Crab…awesome!

140308-02Here are the veggies that come with it. It comes with raw bean sprouts and the greens are sliced ong choi stems. It also comes with lemon and sliced peppers. I throw the ong choi right into the soup right away so it can cook a bit – it’s great because it maintains its crunch!

140308-03Everything goes so well together. Tomatoes, fried tofu, noodles, green onions, shrimp and crab. It looks spicy but it really isn’t!

140308-04Ah what a perfect post for a rainy day…


Pho My Lan – Chinatown, HI

I do a lot of posts on Pho. And you know what’s funny? Pho isn’t even my favorite food. I don’t think it even ranks in the top five but there are times when you just want to sit back and eat a good bowl of noodles. Pho really hits the spot for that. My cousin took me out for a free bowl last week, who can say no? This is the first time I tried Pho My Lan and it is a very nice restaurant! Pretty clean and friendly staff. I’m not one who likes parking in Chinatown so I’m not sure when I will be back but I would definitely recommend it to others!

140219-01Shredded Pork Rolls – Shredded pork, raw bean sprouts, lettuce, mint, and vermicelli wrapped in rice paper. Served alongside the vinegary fish sauce…sauce. Very good!

140219-02Fresh veggies to place in your hot steaming broth when it arrives at your table…

140219-03Meat outside. Those who order pho know this lingo.

140219-04Combination Pho – I like to eat the whole animal when I’m chomping on noodles. 🙂

Pho Bistro 2 – Honolulu, HI

I love me some good ole’ pho. It’s so good and warming for the soul. Pho must be Hawaii’s answer to chicken noodle soup. I’m finding that I love all things Vietnamese lately…desserts, entrees, appetizers, coffee – there’s no going wrong! My current favorite places include Pho Bistro 2 and Pho Thinh – both great restaurants!  Here are a few pics from my recent visit.

140106-01Vermicelli with Grilled Pork and Spring Rolls – this is a cold noodle salad and it’s delicious! They serve it with a fish sauce/vinegar sauce. This dish includes the topping of your choice on top of plain cold vermicelli noodles and a variety of raw veggies. I hate raw bean sprouts  but I can tolerate it in this dish.

140106-02Combination Pho – you can’t go wrong ordering this.