While the new Pho Ever in Alhambra bears the same name as its two other locations in Gardena and Little Tokyo, it’s vastly different in myriad ways. Hanli Su opened the Alhambra location in late October as an outlet for her mother Lani Nguyen’s passions for cooking, baking, and painting. “The first two locations were my parents’ means of survival when we first moved here from Vietnam,” says Su. “They were trying to put a roof over our heads and send us to school. With this location, we wanted to fulfill [my mom’s] creative side, rather than have her focus on money or survival.”
Pho Ever is tucked in the corner of a parking lot shared with a Circle-K convenience store at 1 East Hellman Avenue and surrounded by a mini-garden Nguyen planted. Inside, a bakery case is filled with Nguyen’s baked goods: stacks of colorful macarons and ornate moon cakes flavored with matcha green tea and Godiva chocolate, then hand-painted with edible gold paint. Nguyen also painted the floor-to-ceiling mural of a vase of flowers that greets guests at the entrance.
Even though this outlet carries some familiar dishes from the other locations, like oxtail pho and shrimp spring rolls, the menu is purposefully pared-down. Here, Nguyen finally gets to cook the creative dishes she’s always wanted, like periwinkle-hued sticky rice (achieved by soaking the rice in butterfly pea flowers) with Chinese sausage, house-made pork sung, marinated shiitake mushrooms, and eggs that are soft-boiled and then deep-fried. Also on the menu is a crispy mushroom tempura dish that Nguyen often prepares in a Buddhist temple in Corona.
Pho Ever is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m, and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Black Panther dinner and a movie with Bridgetown Roti
On the heels of the theatrical release of Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever, Fanny’s will host a dinner and movie event on November 29 featuring the first film in the series, Black Panther. The evening will start with a themed four-course tasting menu created by Bridgetown Roti chef-owner Rashida Holmes, with dishes like red pepper goat with roti bread and a pineapple tart with passion fruit. There will also be an optional wine pairing by Fanny’s wine director Henri Marquis. Dinner will be followed by the movie screening at the museum’s theater. Dinner is $88 and reservations can be made on OpenTable. Movie tickets can be purchased on the Academy Museum website.
(Note: Eater LA reporter Mona Holmes is related to Rashida Holmes and was not involved in the writing of this entry.)
Villa’s Tacos’ incoming brick-and-mortar
Villa’s Tacos chef Victor Villa has long been operating his pop-up on York Boulevard in Highland Park, whipping up family’s recipes, including a cheese-griddled blue corn taco filled with grilled meats. But after scoring a $100,000 grant in May, he’s finally making his dreams to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant come true. Villa recently announced that he signed a lease for a space on Figueroa Street.
I scream, you scream for ice cream pies
For Thanksgiving, Rori’s Artisanal Creamery is offering two special ice cream pies: maple-pecan and cinnamon-pumpkin. Each is $60 and serves 8 to 12 people. Orders must be placed by November 21 via phone at (805) 220-6019 for pick up on November 23 at locations throughout the Southland, including Santa Monica and San Gabriel.
Noma 2.0 promotional events
Chinatown cookbook store Now Serving will be hosting a series of book release events with the team behind Noma 2.0: Vegetable, Forest, Ocean from November 27 to 29. On the schedule are book signings, meet and greets, and author conversations at various locations, from the Hollywood Farmers Market to Second Home Hollywood. Tickets range from $25 to $82 and can be purchased here.
Izakaya Osen expands into Irvine
Silver Lake’s popular Izakaya Osen is spreading its wings with a new location in Irvine. The new outpost opened on November 11 and features a similar menu, with dishes like sushi, grilled meat skewers, and new cocktails.