The hospitality might be blunt and to the point here, but the namesake soup is second to none at this longtime pho specialist with outposts in Rosemead and South El Monte (the latter named Pho Filet 2). At Pho Filet, northern-style pho gets pared down to the essentials: an aromatic, soulful broth with depth accrued from long-simmered bones; slightly softer, wide, flat noodles; and your choice of beef cuts. The final, exquisitely simple result is adorned with a smattering of herbs, has an ideal scallion-to-soup ratio and includes thin slivers of ginger that ultimately illuminate a perfect beef sunset in a bowl.
The most recognizable dish in Vietnamese cuisine is pho, and it's for good reason: The long-simmered beef broth (sometimes available in chicken and veggie varieties) delivers maximal flavor and delight in a light, comforting noodle dish perfect for colder weather, sick days and just about any day, in our opinion. Traditionally consumed as a breakfast food, you'll find Vietnam's national dish at any hour of the day here in Los Angeles—with as many subtle variations as Japanese ramen.
While we're no strangers to tricking out a lackluster bowl of pho with hoisin sauce, Sriracha and a twist of lime, every single bowl of pho in this guide will satisfy without the need for a heavy dose of condiments; some run lighter, others funkier, but all shine with the necessary amount of allium, spices and—let's not forget—time needed to produce a high-quality bowl of pho. If you're looking for a nourishing, inexpensive meal, head to one of these pho spots (they're not all in the San Gabriel Valley!), grab a soup spoon and dig in.