Unbeatable Monthly SpecialsColumns Foodie Fare
October 28, 2012
Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
Located in Westridge Shopping Center in Aiea, Pho My Lien is a must-try for Vietnamese eats. The restaurant serves up authentic, traditional Vietnamese food. Owned by husband-and-wife team Tommy and Lien Dang, who both are originally from Vietnam, the restaurant combines authentic know-how with the tasty ingredients that Hawaii has to offer.
“A lot of these are family recipes that Lien learned and has kind of tweaked over the years,” says Walter James, a longtime friend of the couple who serves as the restaurant’s financial adviser and marketing planner. “It is excellent, excellent food. Good-quality food.”
Pho My Lien’s menu is very extensive. The restaurant features an array of soups, salads, stir-fry dishes — and, of course, pho.
To begin your foray into Pho My Lien’s offerings, why not start with some of its best deals? Every month, Pho My Lien features a different special for $4.99 or less.
The special for October is Green Papaya Salad ($7.50, $4.99 during the rest of October), which features shredded green papaya with carrots and bean sprouts with a light house special dressing.
“This is a very unique salad that I really like,” James says. “It’s a great, refreshing salad.”
Next month’s $4.99 special can help you get the holidays off to a healthy start. November’s special is Chicken Salad ($7.50), which features chicken breast on top of lettuce and various vegetables including cucumber and tomato.
“People seem to really like that one,” James says.
For more of Pho My Lien’s tasty soups, try Wonton Soup ($7.50), a perfect combination of dumplings, noodles and vegetables — all swimming in a tasty, chicken-based broth. This dish has been a $4.99 special in the past.
Other past monthly specials have included Seafood Salad ($9.95), which features calamari, shrimp and fish, and Special Combo ($6.50), which features two spring rolls and two summer rolls. The summer rolls come with your choice of meat, tofu or shrimp. The spring rolls are fried with beef inside.
Perhaps part of what makes Pho My Lien’s cuisine so tasty is its dedication to fresh, often local, ingredients.
“We get our produce in every day,” James says. “It’s always fresh — it’s never something that has been left over from yesterday. We also like to feature local foods … It just makes the food taste better.
“For all of the dishes, there are very generous portions,” James adds. “We want to give you good value for your hard-earned money. We keep it good quality with good portions.”
On the Side
Pho My Lien has been sharing authentic Vietnamese treats with the Islands for the past 12 years — two of those being in Aiea. Before moving to its new home in the Westridge Shopping Center, it was in Waikiki for about a decade.
When that area of Waikiki started renovations a couple of years ago, Pho My Lien opted to start anew in Aiea rather than temporarily close its doors — a decision that the restaurant’s regular
customers have been very happy about. For many who used to frequent the restaurant in Waikiki, no drive is too far.
“We have a very good repeat clientele,” says Pho My Lien financial adviser and marketing planner Walter James. “We try to take care of our loyal customers and treat them well.”
Pho My Lien features the fantastic home cooking of head chef Lien Dang, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Tommy. Prior to opening Pho My Lien, Lien had been working as a cook at Shirokiya, and Tommy worked as a server at a variety of restaurants.
The restaurant gets its name from one its dishes, pho, and the two owner’s names (Tommy’s first name in Vietnamese is My).
“Lien is an excellent Vietnamese cook,” James says. “For many years, they wanted to open up a restaurant. They asked me about it, and I said it sounded like a good idea because their food is excellent food.
“They work at the restaurant seven days a week,” James says. “They are in the kitchen all the time.”
Despite those long hours, for Tommy and Lien, opening the restaurant has been a dream come true — and the same could be said for Pho My Lien’s customers.
“We like to keep a good quality and a good atmosphere at the restaurant,” James shares. “We have fast and friendly service. If you want to go in there for a quick lunch, have a bowl of the pho, it’s quick and at a reasonable price. It’s in a convenient location with plenty of parking.”
Pho My Lien
Westridge Shopping Center
8-150 Kaonohi St., Ste. B213-B, Aiea
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.