I've recommended the pho ga (chicken pho) at Pho Bac Huynh in Westminster (15640 Brookhurst St.) several times previously, including last week, but when I went there last night I noticed that they've changed their name to Pho Bac. The menu has changed and so has the food, unfortunately for the worse.
I ordered pho ga, and it was pretty average. The broth wasn't very flavorful or hot - it was a bland, yellow-colored liquid with just a hint of chicken flavor (at least it wasn't salty). The noodles were pretty good and were cooked to a nice al dente texture, but they were clumped together in a big mass at the bottom of the bowl and it took considerable effort to extract a mouthful of noodles from the clump. The accompaiments were good and included nice, fresh purple basil, ngo gai, crisp bean sprouts, limes and jalapeno. The chicken was served on the side and was hacked up white meat with an abundance of skin and some chopped tough, chewy gizzards - no dark meat, no chicken hearts, no quail egg (they also offered a "white meat" option, which must mean they delete the gizzards). While the portion of meat was rather generous, I was not impressed by its quality. The restaurant still serves the same complimentary tapioca dessert that Pho Bac Huynh served, and the cafe sua da was pretty good, but everything else was a disappointment.
So to anyone who was looking to follow up on my recommendation for Pho Bac Huynh's chicken pho, be forewarned that the similarly named replacement is nowhere near as good. The hunt for excellent pho in Little Saigon continues . . .
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