Apache Boulevard in Tempe is best known for its numerous Middle Eastern restaurants, but Khai Hoan, a small restaurant serving Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, adds some variety to the stretch of Apache between between Dorsey and McClintock. Khai Hoan is hidden in the corner of a scruffy strip mall on the south side of Apache. Despite the unappealing setting and spartan decor, the restaurant draws a steady crowd, particularly at lunch. It is not uncommon at peak times to be asked to share a long table with another party.
Khai Hoan has an expansive menu with a wide variety of Vietnamese dishes, incuding pho, noodle dishes, stir fries, spring rolls, etc. Some dishes are quite authentic, with organ meats and other exotic ingredients, while others are more within the comfort zone of newcomers to Vietnamese food. Several meatless selections are available, although broths and sauces may not always be vegetarian. About the only item that fans of Vietnamese food are likely to miss at Kahi Hoan is bahn mi, a type of Vietnamese sandwich not currently on the menu.
In addition to the extensive Vietnamese options, there are also some Chinese restaurant standards available. These are certainly well prepared, but generally less interesting than the Vietnamese dishes. No alcohol is served, but the house-made lemonade and fresh-squeezed orange juice are both outstanding. Service is friendly and generally efficient, but during peak times customers may have to find seats and grab menus on their own while staff handle the rush. Khai Hoan is a bargain, with nothing on the menu priced at more than $10, and is open from 10 AM until 9 PM every day except Sunday.
1537 E Apache Blvd., Tempe, AZ 85281
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