First look: Pho Saigon Star opens near the DU campus

In this week's Chef and Tell interview, which runs tomorrow, I chat with Drew Hardin, exec of Lola, and when I asked him which food trend he'd like to see fall by the wayside, he had this to say: "I don't know if it's the worst trend, but it's definitely one that I don't understand: pho. There are just so many pho places, and every day, I hear someone say they ate at Pho (insert number here) and it was so good. You ask them where it was, and they say, "I don't know -- somewhere on Colfax or Federal." Well, thanks, that sums it up. I think pho is delicious, but there's just too much of it. New trend, please."

See also: - Denver's Five Best Vietnamese Restaurants - Pho 95 to move its Federal location and expand its south suburban digs

Hardin is right: Denver had become a powerhouse of pho shops, the latest of which is Pho Saigon Star, and it's not on Federal or Colfax -- but smack-dab in the heart of University Park, near the DU campus.

The space, which has seen a parade of restaurants come and go, was most recently Thai Basil Noodle Cafe, a restaurant whose proprietors also run Pho on 6th, but earlier this month, new owners took over the quarters and changed the name, leaving the majority of the menu intact, save for adding a dozen varieties of pho. "The menu is mostly the same, except for the pho -- unlike the old owners that brought it in, we make it here -- and we're serving traditional pho and central pho, which is a lot spicier than the traditional pho," says manager Pham Dzung. "We're selling tons of it -- the people coming in, they tell us that they like our food a lot, and we're doing a good business," he adds.

Hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; and Sunday, from noon to 9 p.m. Here's a first look at the digs.

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