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Phonomenal fare

By Andy Beth Miller Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
August 3, 2014

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Where one comes from weighs heavily on the kind of cuisine that is cooked in the kitchen. I definitely know this, hailing from the South, where “fried” is the first name of any properly christened plate.

But lucky for us health-fanatics, eateries such as Pho My Lien exist to dial-the-butter-back. A local Honolulu eatery, inspired by its owners’ Vietnamese roots, Pho My Lien daily doles out delicious dishes honed from the healthiest home recipes.

Simple ingredients (mostly vegetable-based) set the stage for most every menu item here. And those vegetables? Fresh from the farm, delivered daily or personally picked up by the proprietors themselves at fresh markets. And when asked about the utilization of frozen produce? I am promptly (and adamantly) tssked with a “Never never,” (did you catch both those?) “ever ever” (two, again)!

According to financial advisor for the restaurant, Walter James (whose emphatic veggie quotes are also above), Pho My Lien has “several vegetarian options always available.” In fact, this entire month of August, the cafe will offer a special of two summer rolls for just $3.99 — featuring a double dose of rice paper packed with bean sprouts, rice vermicelli and mint.

Here are a few other special things we found at Pho My Lien:

Mixed Vegetable Sautee ($7.95) boasts a bounty of sautéed broccoli, cabbage, carrots and tofu, blanketed by customers’ choice of fish or soy sauce (just let your server know your preference when ordering).

Hot and Spicy Curry ($10.95) hosts a heapin’ helpin’ of white and sweet potatoes, onions, celery and tofu — spiced up with a signature curry kick.

“This dish has a great flavor,” describes James. “The texture of the blend of sweet and white potatoes — especially the sweet potatoes — gives it that perfect consistency and color pop.”

Rice Vermicelli ($8.95) woos restaurant patrons with chopped cucumbers, mint leaves, bean sprouts, tofu and choice of soy or fish sauce.

A family style restaurant, offering generous portions at great prices, Pho My Lien raises the bar when it comes to budget-friendly dining. And “ATTENTION!” — did I mention all military gets a 10 percent discount here? Pho schizzle, they do.

Contact Andy Beth Miller at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Pho My Lien

Westridge Shopping Center
98-150 Kaonohi St. Suite B213-B, Aiea
488-4900
Daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and 8 p.m. Sunday