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5 Stars Hue

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5 Stars Hue Banh Beo
Photograph: Courtesy Jesse Hsu

Time Out says

As a funkier, spicier alternative, many pho shops offer bun bo hue, a pungent, offal-studded red soup originally from the central Vietnamese city of Hue. Few in L.A. do it as well as this strip mall spot with outposts in El Monte, South El Monte and Riverside. Tricked out with herbs, lime and raw onion, the lemongrass-heavy broth here tastes flavorful and bright—not exactly an easy task in a dish incorporating oxtail, pork hocks and pork blood. 5 Stars Hue also offers other regional delicacies like banh beo (steamed rice cakes) and banh ram it  (glutinous rice dumplings set atop fried dough); if you’ve never had these khai vi, they also offer a combination plate of all five hard-to-find savory rice-based treats. We also enjoyed the nem lui: Thai satay-like pork skewers paired with a rich peanut sauce, pickled veggies, cucumbers and a mess of herbs.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Written by
Patricia Kelly Yeo


2650 Rosemead Blvd
South El Monte
Opening hours:
Mon, Wed–Sun 9am–7pm
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