I grabbed a bowl of chicken pho (pho ga) at Hoan Kim in Chinatown today, per J. Gold's review in the LA Weekly this week.
Ok, so here's the deal. This restaurant was IT. The best Hound experience yet. Here's why:
Wonderful soup. Light chicken broth - flavorful of chickenness but not dense. Moist, flavorful chicken. Fresh sides. A side sauce I hadn't seen before - a chile vinegar?
Incredibly nice waiter. Very friendly. No menu - just asked what my friend at I wanted (neither of us are Asian), looked approving when we asked for pho ga, incredibly solicitous.
Cheap! Total was $12 for 2 soups, one hot tea and a coke. (As an aside, refused to serve my skinny friend a diet coke because she didn't need it.)
Grade A. No, it doesn't really matter, but it is a extra little perk, especially in a tiny hole in the wall.
Convenient and free (validated) parking.
Healthy, even! Ok, so I probably shouldn't have had all of the noodles, but even so, as Hound meals go, beats a La Taquiza al pastor mulita on the cholesterol score.
Great place. Tiny, of course, and very hole in the wall. But great food, nice service, wonderful value. If you are looking for a new downtown lunch, run, don't walk, to Hoan Kiem.
Jonathan Gold rocks.
727 N. Broadway