For more than fifteen years, Chef's Noodle House commanded the corner of Havana and Sixth Avenue, but back in February, its Vietnamese chef and noodle emperor, Billy Lam, whose family once owned T-Wa Inn, shuttered the joint and disconnected the phone.
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But the space didn't stay empty for long. Earlier this month, Pho Havana made its debut at 10400 East Sixth Avenue, serving its namesake bowls of fragrant nectar bulked up with slippery noodles, slices of brisket, flank, tendon, tripe and steak and ribbons of fatty flank submerged in beef broth redolent with cinnamon, scallions and soft cables of white onions. There is vegetarian pho, chicken pho and the "Adventurer's Choice" pho, which is really just a customizable slurpfest of whichever meats you feel like lobbing in. The pho is good -- not ethereal, but certainly legitimate -- and the smallish plate of herbs, mounded with bean sprouts, lime wedges, rings of jalapenos, Vietnamese purple basil and cilantro (if you ask) make the steaming liquid sing.
The menu also includes Vietnamese noodle bowls, spring rolls and egg rolls and a smattering of Chinese and Thai dishes, including shrimp lo mein, fried rice, pad Thai and papaya salad. The fat and filling spring rolls -- some of the best I've had in Denver -- are deftly wrapped, stuffed with fresh mint leaves, noodles, shrimp and shredded pork and served with the requisite peanut sauce drizzled with chile paste.
Pho Havana is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more info, dial 303-366-9971.