Pho Xua | Uptown | Asian, Vietnamese | Restaurant
CLOSED. Vietnamese restaurant, posh for Argyle Street, that's still affordable.

Our Review

Brothers Van and Chi Huynh worked across the street at Hai Yen for many years (in the front of the house and kitchen, respectively) but this year struck out on their own with the aim of providing a more elegant setting than most Argyle Street restaurants. Like its peers, Pho Xua offers a dizzying selection of dishes, but many of them are rare for the neighborhood (though many also appear at Hai Yen), and the freshness and quality of the ingredients seem several notches higher. With a stronger Chinese influence than usual (there’s a handful of “Mandarin-style” dishes) and a large selection of pork preparations including a terrific salty house-braised belly (heo rang man), there’s a huge expanse of new territory to explore here at the neighborhood’s customarily budget-friendly prices. Take the grilled betel leaf-beef appetizer--ground beef fingers tightly wrapped in a dark green dusky-flavored vegetal skin (bo la lot)—or the lotus-stem salad (goi ngo sen), a bracing but light composition of superfresh chicken, shrimp, pork belly, basil, and lotus. Oddly enough, the pho is pretty one-dimensional: the noodles (all over the menu) are terrific, but the broth, while simple and clean, lacks the seductive note of five-spice powder.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$
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