Mama Hong’s stands out from the other Vietnamese restaurants on the westside. It lacks a cutesy play on the word “pho” in its name, and it has an extensive menu – everything from the usual banh mi sandwiches, rice and vermicelli plates, and, of course, pho to curries, stews, fried rice, fried noodles and stir fries. Whoever Mama Hong is, she sure can cook.
In which was once a generic pho restaurant, Mama Hong’s gave the space a stylish makeover. We came on a Monday night, usually a slow night for restaurants, but most of the tables were filled.
Mama Hong’s offers a vegan pho, which is difficult to find. The broth had a good flavor, with undertones of various spices. The pho was pretty simple, with broccoli, carrots and napa cabbage. Not the most exciting for meat eaters, but for those who eschew meat, it’s a decent alternative.
The grilled meat plates allow you to choose from chicken, pork, pork sausage or rib-eye steak and comes with either rice or vermicelli noodles (or both if you prefer). The portions are quite generous, with a heaping serving of grilled pork on top of a bowl of vermicelli noodles.
I debated whether or not to get it with the egg roll, finally giving into temptation. It was a wise decision. I would have been happy just eating a full order of the cha gio.
The pork had been grilled a little longer than I would have preferred, so the meat had a very strong flavor from the grill. I enjoyed the parts that weren’t too charred. The pork was fairly lean, giving me little opportunity to savor the few bits of fat that remained.
The portion was so big, I could not even finish my dish and brought the leftovers home with me. The leftovers were even more delicious the next day, making me wish I had more self-control. Big portions at a reasonable price – Mama Hong’s, you’re welcome to be a part of my family.
Location – 11819 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 106B , Los Angeles 90025. Also in Burbank.
Website – http://www.mamahongs.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes