I know people may blast me for Mama Hong’s not being as “authentic” as Orange County pho, but a lot of the local pho places are Koreatown chains anyways, so authentic is as authentic does. What I do know is Mama Hong’s has slammin food, with a stunning shaken beef, flavorful vermicelli dishes, and the best pho this girl has eaten in awhile.
The atmosphere in this little cafe in downtown Burbank is super comfortable and comforting. I could sit in one of the padded booths all night. The walls are clean and sparse, a little reminiscent of Viet Nam’s French influence. The service is fast and spotless, predicting your every thought.
Start your meal with shrimp torpedoes, shrimp simply wrappedin a wonton wrapper and nicely fried. The egg rolls are meat-heavy, more like lumpia than Chinese egg rolls. Pho is almost de regeur, but the vermicelli dishes will keep you coming back as well. The banh mi is pretty standard, but the shaken beef is a favorite as well. Just to really challenge the authenticity of the place, there is a shaken beef poutine, but I’ll leave those of you walking on the wild side.