Pho My Lien Rolls in its Under-$5 Menu

Digest Foodie Fare

January 9, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Pho My Lien has long been highly regarded among local foodies for its delicious Vietnamese cuisine, generous portion sizes and affordable prices. And now, the locally owned eatery is going one step further by offering a monthly special for less than $5.

“The reason we’re doing this is because of the economy,” says Walter James, who is a business partner with Pho My Lien owners Tommy Dang and Lien Bui. “We want to give customers a very reasonable lunch or addition to their meal for a very reasonable price.”

  • Specialty plates include BBQ Beef Short Ribs ($10.50), Shrimp Fried Rice ($10.50), Hot Spicy Curry with choice of chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu ($10.95) and Hot Spicy Lemongrass Stir Fry ($7.95).
  • Owners Tommy Dang, second from left, and wife Lien Bui, along with business partner Walter James, are flanked by Phoung Vo and Andy Tran outside the Aiea location of Pho My Lien.
  • The Spring and Summer Roll Combo is not only delicious, but affordable as well at $4.99.
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Offered through the end of January is the Spring and Summer Roll Combo, a full serving of two of Pho My Lien’s top-selling appetizers for just $4.99.

Two crispy spring rolls are filled with a mixture of pork, chicken, shrimp, shredded carrots, long rice and mushrooms, while the summer roll has rice vermicelli, mint leaves and bean sprouts wrapped in paper-thin a rice sheet. Choose from boiled shrimp, shredded pork, tofu or barbecue beef, pork or chicken to go in the summer roll.

The platter is served with lettuce, mint leaves, rice noodles and the restaurant’s special peanut and fish sauces.

New specials will be available every month throughout the year. Already planned for February is a Valentine’s-themed special, and in March there will be a “jump into spring” special
showcasing the bounty of the season.

“The special always will be regular-size dishes for $4.99 or less,” James adds.

Stop in every month to see what’s new, or check out Pho My Lien’s extensive menu of authentic Vietnamese fare. Among the specialties are Rice Plate with BBQ Beef Short Ribs ($10.50), Shrimp Fried Rice ($10.50), Hot Spicy Curry with choice of chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu ($10.95), and Hot Spicy Lemongrass Stir Fry ($7.95), which comes with a choice of chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or tofu.

And be sure to sample Lien’s homemade pho, a beef noodle soup most Vietnamese people believe is an elixir that can clear the head and warm the heart, making it the perfect dish to begin or end your day. Each order of pho is served with herbs, mint leaves, bean sprouts, chili pepper, lemon wedge and Lien’s special blend of sauces. Pair it with your
choice of meat (steak, flank, tripe or beef balls), chicken, mixed vegetables or with shrimp and squid. Price ranges from $6.95 to $8.95, depending on order size and protein choice.

All menu items also are available for take-out, just call ahead to place your order.

On the Side

Tommy Dang and wife Lien Bui started Pho My Lien for one simple reason: “Lien loves to cook,” Dang says with a smile.

With the help of business partner and close personal friend Walter James, the couple opened their Vietnamese restaurant 10 years ago on Ala Moana Boulevard.

“When they said they wanted to open up a restaurant, I said great idea,” says James. “The prices are good, the food is good, and she loves to cook! They like business, and they work hard at the business.”

Renovations at nearby Hilton Hawaiian Village led the husband-wife team to seek a new location for their popular eatery last year, which they found in Westridge Shopping Center.

Located on the second floor of the Aiea shopping plaza, the new Pho My Lien is a bright, cheerful space. A glass entryway brings light and an open-air feel to the dining room, which is filled with soft music, dark-wood tables and French-and Asian-inspired artwork.

Another improvement at this new location is the parking, something that was sorely lacking at the former Waikiki locale.

“We’ve got great parking here,” James says. “And the nice thing about the parking is the turnover rate. You’ll find lots of parking here.”

Despite a move halfway across the island, James says business has steadily been picking up since they reopened on Nov. 12 of last year.

“Being relocated, you just have to build up the clientele,” he reports. “The nice thing is, we’re getting a lot of repeat business and some of the old customers from the old location have found us.”

And in case you’re wondering how they came up with the name Pho My Lien …

“Tommy’s real name in Vietnamese is My, and so that’s how you get it,” James reveals, “the ‘Pho’, the ‘My’ and the ‘Lien’.”

Pho My Lien Vietnamese Restaurant

  • Where
    • 98-150 Kaonohi Street Suite B213-B
    • Aiea, HI 96701
  • Call
    • (808) 488-4900
  • Hours
    • 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Monday – Saturday
    • 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    • Sundays
  • Notes
    • Ample free parking available.

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