Openings and Closings

Golden's first pho restaurant, Pho Golden, is now open

Golden's restaurant scene may be fairly diverse, but until recently, there was a gaping hole: no pho.

Now, though, instead of traveling to Federal Boulevard to get a fix of brothy noodles, denizens of this western enclave can hit Pho Golden, Golden's first pho restaurant, which opened in a strip mall in August.

The interior of the new restaurant has been lined with dark tables, and booths and plant life -- both the potted and hanging variety -- is abundant, as is Vietnamese kitsch.

Despite the restaurant's name, Pho Golden's menu spans many traditional Vietnamese dishes, including spring rolls, papaya salad and many kinds of bun -- a vermicelli noodle dish -- as well as a few out-of-place oddities like chow fun and sesame chicken.

But manager and Saigon-native John Ong says that pho is the restaurant's specialty. "I cook the pho traditionally, and we have many kinds," he says. That list includes the usual suspects, like rare steak and meatball, as well as several varieties with tendon and tripe. And for those of you wary of red meat or innards, Pho Golden is serving up a chicken and vegetarian version of the soup, too.

Patrons who'd rather skip the sit-down restaurant experience will be happy to know Pho Golden also delivers within a two-mile radius.

If you do choose to dine in, here's what you can expect from your environs:

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk