(Reflecting on the
passing of Pho Minh, I am reminded that life is all about change. It is
not static. Wow, what a "philosopher" I am!)
Life goes on and I
still need my pho, so last week, on the advice of J. Gold, I
decided to give Pho Filet - just a couple of blocks away from
Pho Minh - a shot.
Well, the restaurant occupies the best space in a low-budget row of
shops since it has frontage on Garvey. The interior is unimpressive.
There are a couple of flat-screens mounted at opposite ends, one
playing a Vietnamese channel and the other a local network affiliate.
With servers wearing company polos, to me, Pho Filet vaguely resembles
What I ate: 1. Pho
Bac - pho with filet mignon and thick rice noodles (around
6 USD), and 2. Chao Tom - shrimp forcemeat grilled on sugarcane
and served with lettuce, herbs, pickled vegetables, cucumber, and fish
sauce (around 6 USD).
Though it wasn't Eric
Lam's Pho Bac, Pho Filet's version was quite satisfactory.
However, the broth lacked the depth I found in Eric Lam's Pho Bac.
I liked the option of having my meat - which you can see in the photo
above - served rare and on the side as at Pho Minh. I also liked the Chao
Tom. I love lettuce wraps and the Vietnamese really know how to do
a good one. I only wished that Pho Filet served the shrimp forcemeat on
I thought hospitality
was sorely lacking at Pho Filet. After sitting down at the table the
cashier pointed me to, I waited for a server to show up with a menu
that never came. Instead, I had to march to the front and grab one for
myself, which I doubt anyone noticed. It also took a long time before
someone took my order. At least the food came out quickly.
While waiting and
eating, I almost couldn't do anything else but fixate on the dirty neon
setup next to my seat. There was a dead moth sitting amidst dust
There is a parking lot
for this restaurant and parking available on Lashbrook Avenue, which
The Bill: 11.95 USD.
My Rating: out of four stars (satisfactory to
dock them an extra half star for the poor service and the dead moth.
9463 East Garvey Avenue Unit A, South El Monte; (626) 453-8911. CASH
I hope Eric Lam returns
with another restaurant soon. Not only did he get the food right but he
got hospitality and the small details right as well.