Restaurant Review: Pho PCH Redondo Beach, CA

Can you believe I’m posting a restaurant review? I’m really trying to get back into the swing of things. I can’t believe I hadn’t reviewed Pho PCH considering how I’ve been there a few times already. A couple of things before I get started: it’s pronounced “fuh” and it’s a Vietnamese rice noodle soup with meat, served with bean sprouts, green onion,basil, lime, and jalapeño. It’s perfect for a cool day.

Pho with beef brisket

Pho with beef brisket

So, first cupcakes, then food trucks, and now in my opinion, the next big thing: pho. I’m so glad a few restaurants have been popping up right here in the South Bay. Even before ordering, the first thing I loved about this place was the hospitality. I’ve been here three times, and each time, my server was always so polite with me. Each time I’d been here, I’d either order the brisket or steak, and it’s been consistently great each time. The noodles are cooked to an al dente, the broth is nice and warm, not too salty either & some basil and lime really make it shine. The meat just melts in your mouth.  Also just as great which is the service, that’s pretty quick, and the restaurant is clean too. The small size is just right for me. There’s no way I could ever finish the large. I’d still like to try the seafood, chicken, and yes, the vegetarian pho as well. I’m pretty new to this cuisine, but so far, so good. The only other pho place I can compare this to is Bamboo Song in Torrance, and Pho PCH definitely blows them out of the water. At Bamboo Song, I was questioning the authenticity of the dish, but I will go out on a limb and say Pho PCH serves the real thing.

Also on the menu are bun, which is a rice noodle bowl, com, which is fried rice, and banh mi, a type of sandwich. I’m eager to try them all. Pho PCH just opened a little over a year ago & I’m glad they’re still around. They’re closed on Wednesdays, and as I write this, they are closed for the Lunar New Year and reopen on Tuesday. So please, give this place a try!

Do you have a favorite pho place?

Pho PCH on Urbanspoon

Umenoya Torrance CA

With the weather finally getting cooler, I’ve decided to try some noodle places in the area. I decided to check out Umenoya since I’ve driven past it so many times.

A busy restaurant on a Friday night is always a good sign. Despite that, I was greeted,seated, and given a glass of water right away. Another plus.

A neat thing about the menu was that there was a picture of each item along with a description. Everything looked good, which made it hard to decide.
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I ended up ordering the Chashu Ramen that was served to me piping hot in a rather timely manner, which is especially great on a busy Friday night.  The first thing I noticed was the onions, tons of onions. I’m not really used to eating this quantity of onions, but it wasn’t so bad, and at least they weren’t raw!

The noodles were very fresh. I don’t care how bad carbs are, I love noodles & if I could, I’d eat them all day. The pork belly was very tender and the egg complemented it very well. The only thing I didn’t care for was how salty the broth was. I am a total newbie when it comes to ramen. I’ve only eaten at three ramen places in the last two years. However, I don’t recall the other places serving their broth this salty. After reading a few reviews at home, it seemed like most people didn’t mind the saltiness, so maybe it’s an acquired taste? One reviewer did say you can request for less salt. I’ll most definitely do that because I felt like I was parched all weekend long!

Umenoya, I’ll be back to try out your fried rice and gyoza, which almost every other table had sometime soon. I’ll try another ramen dish and hope they can make it less salty too.

Please note that Umenoya requires a $15 minimum purchase in order for you to use your credit or debit card. They also only do takeout orders for side dishes, not ramen.

Have you been to a ramen shop? How did you like it?

 

Umenoya

24222 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

Lee’s Sandwiches Torrance, CA

So, Lee’s Sandwich in Torrance opened a little while ago. I hadn’t had a Vietnamese sandwich in ages, and my days of chasing food trucks are few & far between these days, so I was glad to see a sandwich shop open by my house.

My first impression? Holy moly these lines are long. I really hope it’s worth it!

I ordered the BBQ pork sandwich along with a Vietnamese coffee (read: rocket fuel). The staff was super friendly, and a word of caution, it’s cash only, so hit up that ATM before heading over.
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The wait was a bit long, I’m just going to attribute that to them opening recently & I hope that the wait will get shorter as time goes on. I got my coffee & sandwich at two different times, so again, a little more waiting. The coffee was sweet, strong, but not as potent as the ones I’ve had in Little Saigon, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing I suppose. I did enjoy my sandwich. Remember, if you don’t like spicy food to ask for them to leave the jalapeños off because they put a good handful of them on the sandwich. The pork was tender & I loved how fresh and chewy the bread was. I just wish that they were more generous with their portion of the meat because I felt like I had more garnish on there than the meat itself.

I’ll be back to give this place another try on an off peak time and I hope the wait isn’t as long.

Have you tried Lee’s Sandwiches? What did you think?

Lee’s Sandwiches

2370 Crenshaw Blvd
Ste D
Torrance, CA 90501

Teriyaki to Go

I’ve always enjoyed quick service Asian food as far as I can remember. The first chain that I frequented as a little one was Yoshinoya. It still holds a special place in my heart with the steamed rice, pickled ginger & all but a girl needs some variety too.

Yogi’s Teriyaki isn’t too far from me but I always seemed to forget about it. I finally decided to give it a try. I walked into the small restaurant at noon on a weekday so needless to say, it was pretty busy. The menu consisted of small and large bowls of teriyaki chicken and beef. I couldn’t decide so I just got a small combo to go since the restaurant was pretty full. Fortunately, I barely waited at all for my lunch.

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When I opened up the container, the charred smell straight off the grill wafted through the air. Both the beef and chicken were very tender and generously basted in a teriyaki glaze. I picked up some extra teriyaki sauce but I really didn’t need it since the meat was so tender and juicy. The order also came with a generous serving of warm & fresh rice. There was so much that I didn’t finish it all but that’s ok since the meat was the star. Yogi’s definitely reminded me a lot of The Flame Broiler, another teriyaki chain. However I’ll be going to Yogi’s more since it’s closer to home. If there’s one near by, try it out!

Lookin for more Asian restaurants?

Yogi's Teriyaki on Urbanspoon

Sushi on the Go

In college, I’d treat myself once a week to grocery sushi. When you’re living on practically nothing, grocery sushi is a big deal. I still grab grocery sushi every now & again when I’m in a pinch but I crave fresh sushi more than anything. However, I don’t want all the pomp and circumstance of a full on restaurant sometimes.

So I used to frequent California Sushi & Teriyaki in Hermosa when I wanted a quick sushi lunch. However I’m in Torrance now & while the trek to the beach isn’t too bad, I’d like something close to home when I’m super hungry.

That’s where Sushimon comes in. It’s not the best sushi in the South Bay let alone Torrance but if I’m craving a small snack, it does the job & doesn’t hurt the wallet either. I first became intrigued by the place when I saw that it was busy on most evenings. On this particular afternoon, it wasn’t too full. We were seated & waited on right away. As we waited on our meals, we were served complimentary miso soup which tasted like every other I’ve had. I’m not complaining though, it was free!

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Like many of its fast food sushi counterparts, there was quite a selection to choose from. I settled on the 10 piece Osaka ($8.99) which was colorful and very refreshing. No complaints on the taste front. The sushi was fresh, the rice, warm, nothing wrong there. The only issue I had was the settling of the bill. After we finished eating, we couldn’t find our waitress. A few moments later, she pulled up to the bar & started having a meal which was a bit awkward. We finally got her attention and got the bill.

An awkward way to end the meal but I wasn’t expecting anything fancy when I walked in. So I’m glad to have some fast food sushi in the area.

Lookin for more Asian restaurants?

Sushimon on Urbanspoon

Bamboo Song Torrance, CA

If there’s one thing I’ve been on the lookout for, it’d be pho. Spending my high school & college years in FL, pho just seemed like something so exotic. I probably don’t have to tell you this, but we didn’t have any Vietnamese or Asian Fusion restaurants in little ol’ Brandon, FL, at least during the time I lived there.

I did try it once at Noodle Planet when I just moved here. I remember it not having too much flavor at all and my mom giving me a hard time for ordering a seafood pho instead of the traditional beef one.

That was the last time I had pho & have been on the lookout since. I remember seeing a pho sign along Crenshaw Bl in Torrance and that’s when I finally stopped at Bamboo Song 2, yes an Asian Fusion restaurant.

It was clear from the moment I walked in that yes this was a fast food Asian place. Definitely not 100% authentic but when you’re on a lunch break, that part doesn’t really matter. With that being said, I knew not to be disappointed if the pho didn’t taste just right but it was a good starting point. The service was quick, and the tiny place was kept clean. It was a good setting.
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I had the Saigon Special which was filled with flank steak, brisket, noodles,and of course cilantro and bean sprouts. At the table was a good variety of soy sauce and hot sauce to season the meal to your liking.
I ordered the small and let me tell you, that was just enough for me! I couldn’t imagine finishing a larger size. The broth was just the right balance of sweet and savory and the beef would pull apart easily, a good sign. While I know this was probably not an authentic pho, it did just fine for my first taste of pho in this blog.

Bamboo Song 2
24202 Crenshaw Blvd,
Torrance, CA, 90505

 

Lookin for more Asian restaurants?

Bamboo Song 2 on Urbanspoon

Seafood Town Torrance

Remember that Chinese Food Challenge from last year? Well I’ve decided to eat at a few more places and I came close to finding a great place….there were a few go to’s but nothing outstanding.

So we started our evening with some egg rolls & the obligatory tea. The tea tasted just like any other found at a Chinese restaurant but that doesn’t discount how soothing and refreshing it is. The egg rolls were quite warm and very crunchy. The portion was just the right size.

I ordered a scallop birds nest for my entree. I’ve heard a lot about the birds nest but have rarely seen it on a menu which is why I went for it. I love fried noodles as much as the next person but I do wish they were seasoned a bit more. The whole dish was also fresh but to be honest, I could eat it much better without the noodle nest although it made for great presentation.

The service was very efficient and the dining room was kept clean. While the food was tasty, there were really no stand out dishes that night. I will continue to look for good Chinese food places in the South Bay but it’s nice to know that there’s one with decent food close by.

Lookin for more Asian restaurants?

Seafood Town Chinese on Urbanspoon

Mama Ramen

The Torrance Crossroads plaza is a giant strip mall that has pretty much everything. Need a lawnmower? Go to Home Depot. Dog food? There’s PetCo. A Starbucks? Yes ma’am.

There’s also no shortage in Asian food either. One section of the strip mall houses a teriyaki place, sushi bar, thai place, and a ramen place. I often wondered how they all stayed in business but I’ve determined it’s because they cater to different cravings.

At Mama Ramen, the concept is very simple. Soup, and tons of it. This small cozy little place is just the right setting for some soup.

I had the simple teriyaki chicken ramen. The order came pretty fast. After all it’s soup right? It was very filling and took me a good while to finish. The staff was laid back & didn’t kick my friend & I out until it was time for them to close! This was my first adventure with real ramen, not the college kind. While it was passable, I look forward to more adventures!

Lookin for more Asian restaurants?
Mama Ramen on Urbanspoon

I’m Phamished

The truck had eluded me. I’d catch it unexpectedly, and have a full stomach. Was it not meant to be?

I was wrong! I finally caught the  Eat Phamish truck at West High’s food truck fundraiser right here in my own backyard.

It was a beautiful day in the South Bay. With that being said, the truck wasn’t serving pho that day (either that or they sold out by the time I got there) well that just means I’ll have to try the truck at a later, cooler time, right?

However, a good selection of Banh Mi sandwiches, Bun (vermicelli) and spring rolls were available.

I settled on the  lemongrass pork banh mi. At $6 for a foot long filled with garlic mayo, daikon, and pickled carrots, it was a good deal, and something different from the usual lunch.

I liked the light heat that the pork had. However, the heat only got higher as I got to the end of the sandwich! It wasn’t like smoke was coming of my ears but it was noticeable! I guess I shouldn’t guzzle down my water before finishing the sandwich next time.

I’m glad to finally catch this elusive truck! I’ll definitely be back for the banh mi, the bun, and hopefully, finally the pho!

Lookin for more Asian restaurants?

Eat Phamish (Food Truck) on Urbanspoon

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