Pho Song Hai in Westminster prepares its chicken Hai Nam style, meaning the bird is poached, then refrigerated, then served cold on a plate separate from the pho, skin and bone and all. The skin turns into jellied strips of fat; the flesh is shockingly milky, smooth and wonderful. It comes with a ginger nuoc mam so thick it’s almost like applesauce, reeking and electric. That’s house-made, along with a hot sauce I’ve never seen anywhere else in Little Saigon: made from Thai bird peppers, the concoction is orange-red, slightly oily and has a deceptive burn that accentuates the ginger nuoc mam to make the best tag team since the Hart Foundation.
Make sure to take a book when you visit Pho Song Hai—may I suggest The Iliad or something similarly hefty? Because the wait will be long—like, really long. This is Little Saigon's current hot spot for pho, so lines are inevitable, and downtime... More »