Restaurant Review: Pho Mai (Upland, CA)

9 Aug

About a month a go, Pho Mai opened, a new Vietnamese restaurant in the same plaza as Trader Joe’s & Kohls in Upland. Ordered vegetarian that day: tofu spring rolls, tofu & veggie meat sauteed with lemongrass in vermicelli and tofu veggie crepe.

CONS: Some servers spoke English, others not as well. Unless you got the owner, many of the staff are not menu-savvy. Quite pleased with the huge helping of mint and sprouts for the crepe! But the crepe itself? Another story. Not crispy with an undercooked, batter-like consistency and taste. The uninspired veg meat kept me from enjoying the vermicelli dish.

PROS: A clean restaurant with plenty of servers and solid granite tables (don’t you hate wobbly tables?!).  I’d order the tofu spring rolls again. Good portions and taste. And believe it or not, the highlight of the meal? The pickled jar of veggies. I rarely see that anymore at Vietnamese restaurants — seriously! Condiments can make or break a meal. And in this case, save a meal.

I will come back. Since Pho Mai has only been in business for a month, I hope it improves. I’m a fan of local businesses, especially ethnic restaurants.

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