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Melanie Wong | Jan 6, 201801:37 AM     1

On Wednesday we'd planned a happy hour chowdown at Pho Ha Noi in Vietnam Town on Story Road, https://www.chowhound.com/post/pho-ha... . However, when I arrived and asked for the happy hour menu (Mon-Thursday 5pm to 11pm), the server informed me that the happy hour discounts were not available this week and would resume next week. I also took note that none of the tables around us had any alcoholic drinks.

Nem nuong cuon

Two per order, grilled pork sausage, crisp pastry roll, mint, scallion, pickled carrots/daikon and lettuces wrapped tightly in rice paper offered satisfying crunch and juicy crispness. The dipping sauce had some ground meat in a slightly sweet, viscous base.

Bun cha hanoi

My favorite dish of the evening, a very good version of bun cha hanoi.

Bun cha fresh herbs

Now this is a proper rau thom (fresh herb plate) both in quantity and variety that one seems to have to venture to San Jose or Orange County to find. This had red perilla, mint and cilantro, as well as lettuce for bundling the firmish thin rice noodles with the meats and herbs.

Bun cha grilled pork and patty

Thickish slices of nicely charred and smoky grilled pork along with delicious ground pork patties that included fine threads of pork skin were steeped in a sweet-savory-salty fish sauce-based marinade (nuoc mam pha) along with pickled vegetables and a dollop of hot chile sauce.

Mi ga roti

Cautioned that there's be a 15-minute wait for this dish, the crispy skin on the roast chicken was worth it. A bed of stir-fried skinny egg noodles, topped with roast chicken hacked on the bone, a blizzard of fried shallots, a dribble of a caramelized savory saucing, and then crisp lettuce and celery completed the dry-style plate. Some chicken stock and scallions served on the side to add for more moisture or to sip alone.

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