Food & Drink

LA's 8 best Vietnamese restaurants

Published On 02/10/2014 Published On 02/10/2014

LA's got something like 80 bazillion great, classic Vietnamese restaurants (and that's just in Westminster!), all dedicated to authentic bowls of pho and crispy banh mi sandwiches. Lots of those places are super good, but then there are a small handful of restaurants who next-level the genre. Introducing: that small handful...

East Borough

Best Chef: East Borough (click here for address and deets)
Culver City
This just-opened, super-colorful 'nese-ery is home to the team behind crazy-acclaimed Superba Snack Bar, including Chef Jason Neroni, who's busting out French-meets-Viet bites, like crepe stuffed w/ dungeness crab and shiitake mushrooms, and "phocatini" -- pasta w/ oxtail, hoisin, and Sriracha.

Flickr user Djjewlz

Best Banh Mi: Red Medicine (click here for address and deets)
Beverly Hills
This date night/Mom-and-Dad-are-in-town staple's known for its desserts (they are amazing) and their Brussels sprouts (dude, amazing), but they should also get props for their banh mi -- a classic-but-perfect execution stuffed w/ pork belly, pickled carrots, and country pate, also now being served at their semi-permanent pop-up at Formosa Cafe in WeHo.

Phorage

Best Pho: Phorage (click here for address and deets)
Palms
This ultra-modern Viet shop in the former Chego! spot (RIP. SADNESS.) is still serving up Asian awesomeness (YAY. HAPPINESS.), like noodle bowls filled with ante'd-up ingredients (free-range chicken, American Wagyu beef...).

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Best Noodles: Viet Noodle Bar (click here for address and deets)
Atwater Village
Thicker-than-usual, homemade rice noodles are the dish to get at this tiny Atwater outpost (which, thanks to piles of books, kinda feels like a library). There're a variety of toppings, but you gotta do the tumeric-and-dill fish -- it's lightly fried, and heavily fantastic.

Yelp user Lauren L

Best Rice: Blossom (click here for address and deets)
Silverlake
Sure, you can usually get rice with, say, crispy chicken or some chopped-up pork. But how about Cornish game hen or filet mignon? That's par for the course here.

Xoia

Best... Tacos?: Xoia (click here for address and deets)
Echo Park
Right in the heart of Echo Park, this unassuming eatery's got great pho and banh mi, as well as Vietnamese tacos, which include beef that's literally infused with pho and crispy pork chicharr├│nes, and stuffed into corn tortillas for easy-eating. Bonus: they're open 'til midnight and 'til 2am on weekends, meaning you can leave the Echo after the headliner and still get your fix.

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Best Food At A Place With A Punny Name: 9021Pho (click here for address and deets)
Multiple Locations
You could be forgiven if you wouldn't step foot in 9021Pho solely on principal, but you'd be missing out on some top-level dishes, like a delicately fried white fish with spicy aioli, and mei-nam noodles with curry chicken, shrimp, carrots, and onion.

Flickr user JohnJoh

Best Apps: Gingergrass (click here for address and deets)
Silverlake
Yeah, the mains at this Eastside mainstay are fairly delicious, too, but it's really all about the apps: crab rolls that are perfectly crispy, chili-peanut wings that are, um, perfectly crispy, and shrimp balls stuffed with yams that are... yeah, you get it: their fryers are great.

Jeff Miller is the Senior City Editor of Thrillist LA, and takes his pho with sprouts, jalape├▒o, Sriracha, and hoisin. You can follow him at @thrillistla on Twitter and @jeffmillerla on Instagram.

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1. East Borough 9810 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (Culver City)

This Vietnamese pho house is bringing the heat with delicious banh mis and grilled pork.

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2. Blossom Vietnamese 426 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (Downtown)

Blossom's doing Vietnamese the right way -- with tangy sweet and spicy punches to great pho, juicy lemongrass steaks, and house-made libations.

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3. Gingergrass 2396 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (Silverlake)

This Silver Lake Vietnamese joint is serving up seriously delicious pho, as well as noodles and the like.

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4. Phorage 3300 Overland Ave , Los Angeles, CA 90034 (Santa Monica)

Their pho is slurpifiably delicious, as are the spring rolls, noodles, and trendy atmosphere.

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5. Viet Noodle Bar 3133 1/2 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (Atwater Village)

This noodle bar has got some of the best pho in the city -- seriously, trust us.

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6. Red Medicine 8400 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Finally opening today in the old Hokusai spot after literally months of teasing, RM's a cavernous, mainly Viet-influenced Asian-staurant featuring reclaimed, barn wood and exposed concrete walls, an eight seat stained-wood bar and cushy window banquettes, run by two Michael Mina vets and the Umami guy -- a man everyone wants to meat.

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7. 9021Pho 490 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (Beverly Hills)

From the former chef of Michela comes this nook-like, modern casual soupery dedicated almost entirely to brothy Vietnamese deliciousness, with variations including Pho Ca (sliced tuna, onion, bean sprout, basil, and chili w/ chicken stock).

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8. Xoia 1801 W Sunset, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (Echo Park)

Xoia's a cozy, Vietnamesery from a guy who trained as a visual artist, only to realize he was much better as a chef when he cooked for his fellow artists on a retreat, and they dug the food much more than his work; perversely, he's decorated the restaurant with his abstract art, because who needs gallery space, when you've got galley space?

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