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Where Vietnamese Dishes are Prepared Just Right

By Yu Shing Ting Photos By Leah Friel
February 16, 2014

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You know a restaurant is good when people are willing to drive out of their way to eat there. Since relocating to Aiea a few years ago, Pho My Lien continues to serve many of the same customers from its original location in Waikiki, where the eatery was for about 10 years.

The casual, family-style Vietnamese restaurant offers a great menu of traditional Vietnamese food at very reasonable prices. Among the popular dishes, especially during cold, rainy weather such as what we’ve experienced in recent weeks, is the Pho Beef Noodle Soup ($8.50 large bowl) featuring vermicelli noodles in a very rich and tasty broth, and served with herbs, mint leaves, bean sprouts, chili pepper, and wedges of lemon and special sauces. Meat options include slices of rare steak, well-done beef brisket, soft beef tendon, beef tripe and beef balls.

“It’s a classic pho noodle dish,” says Walter James, market director and financial adviser. “And we are very generous with the meat we put in.”

The restaurant also offers monthly specials. For February, enjoy Rice Vermicelli with Chicken and two Spring Rolls served on a bed of lettuce with mint and house dressing for $8.99 (regularly $10.95).

For March, the special is Vietnamese Chicken Salad for $4.99 (regularly $7.50) featuring all white chicken meat served on a bed of vegetables, cucumber and lettuce, with special house dressing. Specials are available for dine-in only.

The restaurant is named after its owners Lien Bui and her husband Tommy Dang, whose Vietnamese name was My before he changed it to Tommy.

“To me, the food is just delicious,” notes James, adding that they’re looking into opening more locations, possibly in the Hawaii Kai or Kahala area. “It’s all original recipes that Lien (who is the head chef) got from her mother. Also, we use a lot of fresh, local produce, and we stock our vegetables every day.”

With many repeat customers, James says it’s verification that their food tastes good. Add a very friendly atmosphere and generous portions, and you’re sure to be “pho”-lly satisfied. The restaurant also offers a 10 percent military discount with a valid ID.

Pho My Lien

Westridge Shopping Center
98-150 Kaonohi St., Ste. B213-B, Aiea
488-4900
Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.