As I get older around my birthday, I feel like I should have some knowledge to show for it– and of course, to share. The problem is as you get older, you feel stupider and less creative. Another one of life’s cruelties: when you want it you can’t have it and when you have it [...]
Posts Tagged ‘vietnamese’
I like to eat Pho. I’m a cheapskate with myself, especially when it comes to food. I also like to try new things and experiment, but being a cheapskate about food I don’t like to take too many risks. If you live in Westminster, California and you add all of this up and you’ll like to eat pho as much as you’ll like getting your hair cut for $5. Sometimes I want to try new things on the menu but I’m rarely willing to gamble $7 to try, especially at a Vietnamese restaurant because the descriptions tend to leave out what form the food is prepared in. For instance:
Bo Khe Thanh Mi (completely made up dish using some common vietnamese words I see) could be described as: beef, noodles and vegetables. Sounds like fried noodles. But then it will be soup. Or maybe something that looks like soup will arrive at the table as a structure of dried noodles with a few pieces of vegetable on top and even fewer slices of meat.
Now in the winter of my time in Westminster, I am looking for some absolutes. I want to know the best Pho. The cheapest pho. The best Banh Mi.
Today’s feature is:
The Cheapest Pho In Westminster !
Mentally play some dramatic music after reading this line
From the 405 head opposite of the beach on Westminster Blvd past the Excalibur Hotel & Casino-esque signage and street flair.
Ah yes, an open gate in the Medieval fashion on the edge of the median as you enter Westminster. Nice touch! (Imagine how pitching this street flair might have sound at the city council meeting.)
Drive past all of the Marketplaces and Home Depots and past Golden West and you’ll hit a stretch of town that isn’t quite sure what it’s gonna do yet. You’ll find TV repair shops in 1950′s style strip malls and dancing studios for older generations who like ballroom dancing until the wee hours of the night but don’t require alcohol. Right now you’re in between the 7600th and 7700th block of Westminster Blvd. Continue on a little further and you start to find the upscale Westminster blvd with a Lexus Dealership and some nice looking banks.
On the corner of Northwest Beach Blvd and Westminster Blvd behind some building you will find Nha Hang $1.99 Restuarant. Wow Nha Hang must mean value or some small but proud town in the Vietnamese countryside that offers food at reasonable prices. Allow me to translate the photo below:
Vietnamese: Restaurant $1.99
English: $1.99 Restaurant
For Cheap Pho enthusiasts, this Tudor Medieval Revival style structure is your Westminster Abbey. But leave the attitude at home: this place is for G’s only. Your fellow customers will be strong, construction worker type vietnamese men, eating alone reading a newspaper, old but tough looking Vietnamese couples and the occasional family who look like they eat here thrice weekly. And why wouldn’t you? With their $2.75 bowl of Pho (Chicken, Beef or either with parts) or their $3.50 bowl of Pho Bo Kho (beef stew with carrots and onions) you could eat dinner here every night for a month for a measly $90.
The waiters speak barely passable english: I ordered fried noodles, the waiter asked if I wanted “Beef or Rib”, mmm rib sounds nice I thought. Turns out he meant to say Shrimp. Hey shrimp weren’t bad either! And for $1.99 for a plate of friend noodles i’m not complaining. Drinks, if you keep it simple (soda or iced teas) are $1. No cents. One Dollar. Condiments are free, surprisingly. (But don’t wait until the owners kids come back from Wharton or you’ll probably be paying a quarter dollar for a plastic cup of hoisin and sriracha!)
The side plate of fresh vegetables and herbs is a muted handful of bean sprouts and a lime wedge. The mint and basil is added by the chef. You don’t need that whole garden of mint and basil so shut your noodle cooler.
The ambiance is shabby-asian-chic:
√ Golden Maneki Neko Cat at the Cash Register
√ Buddhist stone fresco on the wall
√ Framed photograph of a noble oriental countryside
√ Small water fountain with rocks
√ Ambient lit ceiling fans
√ Harsh Fluorescent ceiling lights
√ Takeout case with sneeze guard
√ Collection of local foreign language publications at the door
√ Local insurance agent giveaway calendar on the wall
This place has it all.
The menu is too cheap to believe:
What’s more is that Nha Hang $1.99 has three locations to serve you in the North Orange County Region:
7971 Westminster Blvd
Westminster, CA 92683
11707 Edinger Ave
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
12035 Garden Grove Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 92842
You may know that in Westminster you can get your haircut for $5 at a vietnamese barber shop.
I have done this two times before with poor results. One time, the woman asked me “Sideburn?” and I said “No”, since she had scissors and I assumed that she was not asking whether or not to add sideburns. She took this to mean I did not want sideburns and quickly lopped off my sideburn leaving me to look like a professional monster truck driver.
Due to my core belief that a haircut should not cost a lot of money, I went back to a different Vietnamese barber shop. This one was $7, and I was hoping I’d know where that extra 30% went.
I sure do.
Take a look above my left ear. Besides only being a buzzcut with a little reserve on the part of the barber, there is a 1 inch chunk of hair missing above the same sideburn that was previously lopped off.
Vietnamese do not like the area near my left ear. I will try this one or two more times.