Despite the growing population of Vietnamese people in Las Vegas, there are only a handful of Pho restaurants and most aren't really that good. The majority of them are either open 24hrs are at least way into the wee hours of the morning. The residents of Vegas use these places as most people use Denny's in the early morning hours. No one ever sets out to go to Denny's you just end up there after a night of drinking Jager bombs. So that could be the reason why the Pho in Vegas isn't so hot, taste wise that is. And after drinking all night and strolling into one of these places, who can tell the difference between Pho and Plegm?
I wandered into this place around 11:30am. quickly seated and within a few minutes the place filled almost to capacity. I was the only non Asian in the place, which is a good thing, it shows the locals in the China town area approve and like it.
Very spacious and nice inside the place. definitely the best decorated Pho place in Vegas.
The menu is classic Vietnamese with a huge amount of offerings. No Banh Mi though. Just as good I thought All I really needed right now was to order a "bang me" at the Pho Kim Long and I would have shot boba balls through my nostrils and killed the nice elderly woman sitting at the next table who kept fluttering her fan and giving me the "stink eye".
But lest you misconstrue me, I was here on a Pho eating mission. A Pho eatery opened up a the Treasure island casino and man is it horrible. the Ihop of Vietnamese restaurants with overly politically correct no taste dish water at 10 bucks a pop. don't bother going here.
I started out with the obligatory Goi Cuon or Fresh Spring Rolls at $5.00 for two.
Nice and fresh and you could tell that they were made per order as the wrapper still was most from water and it wasn't overly cold as if it was sitting in a fridge somewhere. The peanut sauce lacked some flavor, a bit mild but over all pretty good.
I ordered a bowl of the Pho Dac Biet at $6.95. There is only one sized bowl here. This is always an interesting dish to me and usually my favorite to order as it could have just about everything in it, Being the special Pho of the house. This came out looking really good with rare steak floating on top and hints of what lay beneath. But it literally had half a meatball in it and nothing else. I know it's listed in the menu as Tender beef soup. And the beef was tender and it had a nice amount of it. I guess I was expecting something else. Thats OK. The Dac Biet is the specialty of the house and each Pho house has a different way.
The broth was good, a bit herbal though like it had a slight tea infusion to it. It was OK and probably the best tasting Pho I have had in the Las Vegas area proper.Hints of cardamon and ginger and one bowl definitely filled me up.There lots of noodles in this soup. I do like it when you get a nice size plate of garnishments for the Pho. I find nowadays that a few Pho houses really skimp on the basil and sprouts you get.
Don't come here though expecting a nice leisurely lunch. Here it's wam bam thank you man all the way. I walked through the front door and immediately someone yelled at me "how many!" Like Frau Farbissina from Austin Powers,I was a bit taken back like buying Depends at the grocery store for your Grandma and the checker shouts out for a price check. Escorted to my table and was asked right as I sat down if I was ready to order. These folks don't mess around and are constantly flitting about and will pick your dish up without asking and take it away if they think you are done. Soup Nazi Vegas style.
And how you can tell if you have had a good bowl of Pho? It's Windsong stays on your mind, and clothes.and breath for the rest of the day. It seeps through your pores like pouring Pho Drano down your pipe and letting it just work it's magic cleaning out your insides. In a good way. It's a nice warm comforting feeling and the gift that keeps on giving.
I will come again to Pho Kim Long. If you are in Vegas and crave some Pho. This is an OK place to come to.
Pho Kim Long
4029 Spring Mountain Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89102