Two years ago, Tony Tran took a chance on remodeling Ha Noi Pho at the support and encouragement of his father, Cung Tran, who established the Hoa Viet Franchise. His father observed him working hard for family members and insisted he could build wealth for himself. Cung actually came out of retirement to support Tony. Thus, the start of Ha Noi Pho.
Tony’s dad, an immigrant from Vietnam, was a natural-born entrepreneur. He first helped open up a pool hall and served food on the side. Seeing how popular the food was encouraged him to be brave and launch Hoa Viet. Approximately 13 restaurants were opened within 10 years and had both Cung and Tony working hard.
The apple does not fall far from the tree with Tony and his perfect customer service, whether speaking with us and answering all of our questions about the food or making recommendations to customers about what to order. Tony has worked at expanding the restaurant and has a large side patio available for entertainment now. He is excited about the warmer months and customers being able to sit outside, enjoying not just pho, but other menu items available.
We arrived early around 4:30 p.m. on a cool and breezy day, perfect for hot soup! The waft of the restaurant hit my nose and I recognized the pho spices immediately. Since I just visited Southeast Asia in the last couple of months, I quickly noticed the red tuk-tuk bike by the front door and was delighted! The space was clean with plenty of window seating and natural light. It was also huge for a pho restaurant! Easily seating over 100 in the indoor space. Perhaps another 40 to 50 if not more would fit in the patio. It seemed new, despite having been around for 2 years already.
The Menu and Food
On to my favorite part…Most pho restaurants have a smaller menu consisting of a few appetizers, some pho, cold noodle dishes called Bun and then a few drinks. However, Ha Noi Pho had a unique variety. They offered similar pho soups and rice dishes; however, add on to that over a dozen kinds of Banh Mi Sandwiches, Hot Pot, and Clay Pot cuisine as well. Additionally, and other snacks available such as Fried Cheese Sticks, Jalapeno Poppers, Fry Bun with Condensed milk, and more.
I was obviously overwhelmed at the selection because everything looked so appetizing! Despite having come here with the intention to order a steaming bowl of pho, I asked Tony what to order. I also let it slip I was attempting to do low-carb. He immediately suggested a Vermicelli Platter consisting of Sugarcane, Shrimp, Seafood, Eggroll, and Pork. Priced at $15.50, one would think it may be a tad expensive until you see it in person. It can feed at least 2 diners! Since I was doing low-carb, Tony suggested skip the noodles and possibly the sauce, which I did. This plate was exquisite in presentation, but I have to say, the grilled pork was out of this world ah-mazing. My mouth longs to taste it again, and I know I’ll be back in the next few weeks for this.
Next, Tony recommended the Sauteed Catfish in Clay Pot. Normally, I would have resisted since I’m not a fan of the fishy flavor found in some catfish. However, we ordered a small version in case I would not like it. That was an error on my part as soon as I tasted it. The tomato sauce and herbs cooked with the catfish and seasoned like nothing I had ever tasted before was so good, I started dipping my grilled pork, eggrolls, and shrimp into it. This dish is a MUST-TRY when you’re visiting. I simply cannot recommend it enough!
Ha Noi Pho
Overall, the servings are generous, the staff is welcoming and friendly. Ha Noi Pho is an Elk Grove Jewel, and I look forward to seeing what additions will be included to the side patio! This should make for an open space that should be able to accommodate large groups or even events.
Even more, if you’re wondering what to eat for dinner, Ha Noi Pho is perfect for take-out during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Place a to-go order! Support your local Elk Grove small business at this time all while eating and enjoying the freshest, most delicious, Vietnamese food!
9341 Big Horn Blvd
Elk Grove, CA 95758