4 1/2 Golden Spoons
On a Fantastic Roll!
Pho 533 has been a favorite of mine since Chef Chad Gardner took over the restaurant in 2015. His twist of adding a bit of French flair to traditional Vietnamese recipes results in an incredibly flavorful fare of everything from Sumptuous Banh Mi Sandwiches to Fantastic Pho Soups to Vibrant Vermicelli dishes, all served in a newly remodeled and expanded dining room and lounge complete with a “Vietnamese Roll Bar.” How fun is that! Best dishes I love include the Five Spice Pork Belly. Braised for 5 hours and served with house-made pickled Napa cabbage and daikon, topped with fried garlic and shallots, it’s an explosion of tastes and textures that will not disappoint.
Five Spice Pork Belly
The Vietnamese Crepe is spectacular too; a coconut cream delicate pancake filled with sautéed shrimp, lemongrass pork, bean sprouts, carrots and scallions. One of the best I’ve ever had….anywhere. On the roll front, the BLT Roll is a wonderful surprise that demonstrates the Chef’s creativity. Five-spiced braised pork belly, poached slipper lobster, local farm-fresh lettuce, soba noodles, pickled carrots and daikon radish with a secret Sriracha sauce. A must-order. The Lemongrass Duroc Pork Roll is also something to savor. Duroc is actually a breed of pork that is exceptionally tender, juicy and flavorful. It’s the star of this roll, matched with fresh greens, mint, pickled carrots, vermicelli noodles and crunchy won ton strips. Almost always part of my lunch or dinner here. I must admit that I was a bit nervous when Pho 533 recently closed to double the size of the restaurant which can often be a fatal mistake, but in this case the transformation was seamless and the new hip atmosphere (complete with a huge light-up Hello Kitty) just adds to the dining experience. Kudos to Chef Gardner and team (always wonderful service, I might add). You’re on a fantastic roll that I hope never ends.