This week's restaurant review is about Pho Vi, a Vietnamese restaurant that opened in March in downtown Hollywood.
In the past few years, Vietnamese cuisine has exploded on the contemporary food scene, thanks in large part to a filling and fun-to-eat dish called pho -- beef broth and noodle soup that's considered the national dish of Vietnam.
A flawless pho (commonly pronounced fuh) is achieved through the lengthy process of parboiling, rinsing, and simmering beef bones. Additions to the broth then include rock sugar, charred onions and ginger, and spices like cloves, cinnamon, and star anise. The broth is finished with rice noodles, cuts of meat, sliced onions, and scallions.
Typically, the bowl is served along with a separate platter piled high with lime wedges, giant sprigs of fresh-picked Thai basil and cilantro, bean sprouts, and chilies, like a little garden on the side. Eaters pluck apart and add as many of these mix-ins as they please, then go at it with chopsticks as well as a soup spoon. When executed perfectly, pho celebrates a balance of clean flavors: aromatic herbs, crisp vegetables, hearty protein, and a vibrant, clear broth.
In the past, Broward's pho enthusiasts had to travel west for a bowl -- to Pho 79 in Davie, Saigon City in Lauderdale Lakes, Pho Hoa Noodle Soup in Tamarac, or Saigon Cuisine in Margate. When Pho Vi opened in March in the middle of pedestrian-friendly Hollywood Boulevard, the restaurant was viewed as a welcome addition.
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