You'd have to be a food detective to figure out that a new pho shop has opened in Silver Lake, hidden between Ralph's and Citibank on Glendale Blvd. Lu Subs started out as a water shop and recently branched into pho and inexplicably, Italian-style sandwiches and subs. "Do you have bahn mi?" we asked. "No, Italian sandwiches," the Vietnamese manager said cheerfully. We tried to explain that the people of Silver Lake would like bahn mi, please, and he said he would take it under consideration. We didn't try the pho yet, but there's chicken, beef, beef ball and shrimp varieties at the reasonable price of $4.99 or $5.99 for the steak/shrimp/beef ball combo. Also spring rolls, French dip, subs, and Vietnamese coffee. Open every day, 9 am to 8:30 pm. A few tables, zero atmosphere, and do not try to park at the very rear of the lot, it's virtually impossible to back out.
2470 Glendale Blvd.
Stopped off here and had a bowl of the beef pho for dinner tonight - generously portioned, and with all the trimmings (sprouts, herbs, jalapenos and a bottle of Sriracha!). The broth was a little plain-tasting; I've had better pho overall - but the price & proximity are a plus. A shame they're not doing banh mi yet, as I've been pining for a good Vietnamese sandwich from somewhere closer than Little Saigon ever since KP's went out of business! I did suggest it also, though, and the guy who made my pho said they were taking it under consideration...
I love Gingergrass, but their pho is too small, overly dainty and lacks a certain punch. I was hoping Lu Subs might fill that void. I liked the place immediately. The decor is charmingly schizophrenic. A golden-framed painting of a peacock wandering through a sumptuous room it placed next to black-framed pictures of babies in chef costumes. There's only three tables and the other half of the store sells commercial water from a long row of spigots. While I dined three guys came in with Sparklets bottles and filled them to the brim.
I ordered the beef pho and Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk. The pho was a disappointment; the broth was weak and lacked complexity. It tasted like they had just cooked it up, rather than simmering it for hours. Also, there wasn't much spicing; definitely no star anise and not much charred ginger. The beef was tasty, but it's definitely beginner's pho; no tripe or tendon.
The coffee was great though; it comes pre-mixed but was strong with just the right sweetness. Excellent.
While Lu Subs isn't manna from San Gabriel, I'd still like to try their subs. I'll be back.
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