Decent Pho in Irvine? Blasphemy!

The city of Irvine in general has some horrible food. Most places are chains restaurants or something ethnic that is transformed grotesquely for the American masses (a.k.a. not authentic).  Places like Pho Bac KY seems to play this game by offering dishes such as Alfredo  that should NOT belong in a Vietnamese restaurant. Despite the blasphemy of offering Alfredo at a pho joint, Pho Bac KY saves Irvine from ruining the image of pho (like Saigon Basil on Campus Dr.), their broth and toppings remain true at heart from tripe to tendon.

Oh this makes me miss the pho places in LA... Irvine you suck.

Oh this makes me miss the pho places in LA... Irvine you suck.

I ordered a appetizer platter since I was not feeling pho at the moment (quite frankly the only time I want pho is on a cold night or when I had too much to drink). It came with shrimp paste deep fried in tofu skin, char-boiled marinated beef, spring rolls, noodles, and lettuce wraps. I usually just cut up everything into bite size pieces and just mix everything in with fish sauce to form a custom “mong” style dish. The spring rolls were alright, they were crispy but lacked any strong flavors like the ones from Golden Deli. The fried shrimp paste was pretty terrible, it lacked the sweet shrimpyness of the shrimp paste I usually get from joints in LA. The fried tofu skin wrapped around the shrimp was very dissapointing, it was chewy and greasy, not light and crispy. The marinated beef had good flavor and was the saving grace of the dish.

Overall, the pho and Vietnamese dishes are just alright, it’s just a concenient location since it’s close to campus and it doesn’t require me to battle with the Vietnamese drivers in Little Saigon. If you are in a rush for a quick fix of pho, come here, but there are WAY BETTER places out there so if you have the time I suggest battling the drivers in Little Saigon  or go to LA to get your grub on.

Pho Bac KY

5329 University Dr

Irvine, CA 92612

(949) 857-0856

~ by Clifton Su on May 19, 2009.

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