In Search of Light, Delectable Chicken Pho Noodle Soup - A Pho Ga Journey


i meant to say this is what makes board like this great. but neglected to hit reply. this board saves these comments.


Update 2:

With the weather plummeting to chilly lows, it felt like the perfect time for a nice, piping hot bowl of Chicken Pho. :slight_smile:

HP Pho Ga Bac Ninh (Revisit)

Bi Cuon (Shredded Pork Skin & Vegetables in Rice Paper Rolls):

The Rice Paper wrapper was nice and thin, giving a good chew. The Shredded Pork Skin was funky and delectable. It was balanced by a nice amount of Romaine Lettuce. A nice dab in the Fish Sauce and it was a good way to start the meal. :slight_smile:

Pho Ga (Chicken Pho Noodles) (Small):

But the reason we made the drive out to HP Pho was this: Their glorious, piping hot bowl of Free-Range Chicken Pho Noodles! :slight_smile: The Free-Range Chicken Broth is light, delicate, perfectly seasoned (not too salty), tasting of a down-to-earth, warming Chicken Soup!

Then you take a bite of the Poached Free-Range Chicken (make sure to dab it in their Ginger Dipping Sauce), and a slurp of the Noodles and the warming Chicken Broth: Just perfect for this weather! I love this Chicken Pho. :blush:

I still can’t believe this huge bowl of Chicken Pho (the “Small” order) is only $7! :open_mouth: Such a bargain for such greatness.

(Cash Only)

HP Pho Ga Bac Ninh
8930 Mission Dr., Suite 102
Rosemead, CA 91770
Tel: (626) 288-9999


I really like their congee.


Ooh! Thanks for the recommendation. We’ll have to try that next time. :slight_smile:


I now spend a lot of time at HP PGBN, their pho ga, bun thang, and ga xe phay are quite good.



for my SFV people, Feu does a pretty good pho ga. Really missing the ginger fish sauce/dipping sauce though =X

Note: studio city pricing, around $10 for dark meat $11 for white meat. No organs to be found (which is not a problem for me), and cheap pellegrino. $10 credit card minimum.


Pho Ga Hai Van, Westminster x Magnolia.

Damn good pho ga! The ginger fish sauce a little too sweet. Relatively new in Little Saigon but already making a name for themselves. Same plaza as Ngu Binh and Egg Roll spot. They also got chicken rice and chicken porridge


Update 3:

With the chilly So Cal weather, it felt like the perfect time to get some light, warming Chicken Pho. :slight_smile: And with some new recommendations from @JeetKuneBao, it turned into a nice little Pho Ga Journey, Part 3.

Pho Ga Hai Van

This is a tiny little shop, with only a few tables, but as we walked in, we were warmly greeted by what looks like a family operation. It was pretty packed already, but thankfully we found a table with no wait.

Pho Ga Hai Van’s specialty (as listed in their name) is Pho Ga (Chicken Pho). They had 4 options for their bowls of Noodles: Just Chicken Soup and Noodles (No Meat), Pho Ga with Chicken Breast, Pho Ga with White & Dark Meat and Pho Ga with Drumsticks (which surprisingly was the most expensive option).

Pho Ga Uc Canh Dui (Combination Chicken Noodle Soup):

We chose the Combination (White & Dark Meat) Chicken Noodle Soup, so we could try both types of meat. The Chicken Broth was pretty clear. Taking a sip, it’s warming on the chilly day, well balanced, not too salty or bland, and tasting like a very good Chicken Broth. :slight_smile:

You can choose to have Raw or Cooked Bean Sprouts (we went with Cooked, per our waitress’ suggestion) and adding in the various Vietnamese Herbs with the Bean Sprouts and Chicken and taking a bite… delicious! :blush:

The Chicken Breast tasted a touch old (like it was from the previous day, It might’ve just been an aberration), but still pretty tasty. The Dark Meat was very fresh and tender.

One interesting note, there was 1 Herb that Pho Ga Hai Van had that we hadn’t seen at any of the previous (or later) Pho Ga shops, something the waitress called Rau Yup Ga (Diep Ca) (@Ns1 @attran99 let me know if I mangled that spelling!) :sweat_smile: which had this very unique, earthy, pungent aroma. It lent a distinct flavor to the bowl of Chicken Noodles that made it memorable.

Their Ginger Dipping Sauce was a touch on the sweet side for me, but still nice and spicy (from the Grated Ginger).

Cha Gio (Egg Rolls):

I’m always on the lookout for great Vietnamese Egg Rolls so we had to order some here to try. :wink: These are Homemade Egg Rolls, with a combination of Ground Shrimp & Pork. They were pretty crispy, and a solid rendition of Cha Gio. :slight_smile:

At $7 for a Small Bowl of their Combination Chicken Pho, Pho Ga Hai Van delivers a great value, and a pretty good bowl of Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup. We’d be glad to return the next time we’re in the area. :slight_smile:

(Closed Tuesdays.)

Pho Ga Hai Van
14072 Magnolia St., Suite 107
Westminster, CA 92683
Tel: (657) 400-9140

Pho Dakao

The other Pho specialist that @JeetKuneBao recommended, Pho Dakao occupies a small, standalone building partially hidden by the strip mall in front of it.

Chicken Pho is their specialty here as well.

Pho Ga Uc Canh Dui (Chicken Pho Noodle Soup with White & Dark Meat):

One slightly odd thing was that their Pho Ga arrived within like 1 minute(!) of us ordering. :sweat_smile: I get that they have the long-cooked Chicken Soup ready to go, but it was surprising how fast they had the Noodles done (perhaps they had a large batch ready?).

As you can see from the pics, Pho Dakao’s Chicken Broth was a bit on the oilier side. It was probably the oiliest (not in a bad way) of the Chicken Pho places we’ve tried on this journey, but taking a sip, it wasn’t overwhelming (like how you might be overwhelmed by the pure Liquid Pork Fat Broth of places like Ikkousha or Tsujita / Annex.

The White and Dark Chicken meat tasted fresh, but a bit firmer than Pho Ga Hai Van. The Pho Noodles were on the softer side.

When eaten altogether, it was a fine bowl of Pho Ga, but we liked Pho Ga Hai Van more.

Also their Dipping Sauce for the Chicken was just the commonly found Nuoc Cham Fish Sauce, which didn’t go well with the Chicken (compared to the Ginger Sauces at all of the other Pho Ga places we tried).

At $6.25 - $7.25, depending on the combination chosen, Pho Dakao is a nice, affordable bowl of Chicken Pho, but the generic Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce, oilier, more basic Chicken Soup and softer Noodles, means we’d rather go to Pho Ga Hai Van or Pho Quang Trung in the area.

(Cash Only)
(Closed Tuesdays)

Pho Dakao
15532 Ward Street
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Tel: (714) 531-2009

HP Pho Ga Bac Ninh (Revisit)

And we wrapped up this journey with a revisit to our favorite, HP Pho Ga Bac Ninh. When we arrived, there was a wait already with about 10 people ahead of us (but the line moved fast).

Pho Ga (Chicken Pho Noodle Soup), Small:

Just ordering a Small bowl of their Chicken Pho is a huge portion size; it is the biggest portion of Chicken Pho out of all of the places we’ve been to, but it’s not just quantity, but quality…

Taking a sip…

The clarity, delicate balance of deep Chicken Broth flavors. It’s not too salty, just so pure in its taste. It’s just outstanding Chicken Broth! :blush:

The White and Dark Meat Chicken is fresh tasting, tender, yet still having some meatiness to it. Their Grated Ginger Sauce is excellent and gives each bite a nice spiciness. :slight_smile:

The balance of flavors, pureness of Chicken Soup and fresh Free-Range Chicken makes this our favorite bowl of Chicken Pho in LA/OC. :heart: So good!

Cha Gio (Egg Rolls):

HP Pho Ga Bac Ninh’s Vietnamese Egg Rolls arrive piping hot. They are very crispy and slightly crunchy, not overly salty, and just a nice filling of Marinated Ground Pork, Veggies and the selection of Lettuce Leaves, Herbs provided to wrap the Egg Rolls in are immaculate and fresh.

This was a surprisingly good set of Vietnamese Egg Rolls, and something we’d be glad to order again next visit with our Chicken Pho. :slight_smile:

In the end, with the most well-balanced, purest and flavorful Chicken Broth, fresh, tender Free-Range Chicken, HP Pho Ga Bac Ninh is our favorite bowl of Chicken Pho around. At $7 for a (massive) “Small” order of Chicken Pho, it is also the best QPR around and ridiculously great in value. :slight_smile:

After HP Pho Ga Bac Ninh, I think it’s a pretty close tie with Pho Ga Hai Van (thanks again @JeetKuneBao) and Pho Quong Trung (thanks again to @theoffalo @JThur01 @Porthos).

No matter what, all of these places delivered some wonderful bowls of heart-warming Chicken Noodle Soup, perfect for our chilly weather in So Cal.

(Cash Only)

HP Pho Ga Bac Ninh
8930 Mission Dr., Suite 102
Rosemead, CA 91770
Tel: (626) 288-9999


I love it when a rec comes thru! Especially from our esteemed Chowseeker


Hi @JeetKuneBao,

No, no thank you for the great rec! Can’t wait to try more of your recommendations. :slight_smile:


@Chowseeker1999 I will be the first to admit that I’m illiterate when it comes to Vietnamese…I can do a bang up job of interpreting menus though. If I translate Rau Yup Ga directly, it literally means “herb that enhances chicken.” I will have to reference this with my Mom to make sure I got it right…or wait for @Ns1to chime in.
A bowl of Pho Ga on a cooler day like today sounds divine. The rendition at HP Pho Ga Bac Ninh is so very good!


I really like their crab roe noodles.

The chicken pho, not so much.

Weird, I know. It’s a “me” problem, no doubt.


Hi @ipsedixit,

! How did I miss the Crab Roe Noodles?! Thanks for the tip. :slight_smile:


Yes I’m reading it the same way - “herb help chicken”

Unless he actually means this:


Hi @Ns1,

Thanks! I think that’s the herb. :slight_smile: It looks like it (same shape). I’ll update the post with the new name, thanks.


Chowseeker, thanks for a thorough report :+1: My OC contacts have told me for a few years now that Pho Dakao isn’t what it used to be. They still rank it as good, just no longer the “top.” They all prefer Quang Trung. All I know is that the bowl of pho ga I got at Pho Dakao some time ago was the single best I’ve had. Was the chicken a bit firm?, yes, it was. And were the noodles a bit soft and the dipping sauce plain? Absolutely. But, the broth was - as a dining mate commented - “like you took a fresh chicken and squeezed it.” The broth was mild, but amazingly clean. Simple, basic, pure.


BTW, @ipsedixit, what is your favorite pho ga then? :slight_smile: Thanks.


Pho Ga Kim Loi in Garden Grove. But, alas, they shuttered a while back last year.


Thanks @ipsedixit. Darn, I’m sad I missed out on that place.


Not sure how I missed this thread, but Mind if I butt in? Sorry to keep this from you guys but fav spot is pho Tuan canh I’m garden grove

The specialty is family style pho ga (very limited menu- good thing!). Buy half $11 or whole $22 (irc) free range chicken, comes chopped in platter topped with slivers onion and makrut lime leaves (More a central style accoutrement) . order as many bowls of plain rice noodles/ or mung bean thread noodles (if you like mien ga) you want for $3.5.

Great for family meals or if your really hungry. You get claws and even bet they’ll include the head of you ask. Broth is excellent but they do use msg (which I have no problems with). Depends on how many bowls I order but on average our meals there are about $6-7 per person which is insane deal.

Cc: @JeetKuneBao