Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Times. This week, he spotlights the Hanoi-style phở bắc at Pho Filet in South El Monte and its sister restaurant, Pho Filet 2, in Rosemead.
What to order: The house specialty is phở bắc, which Jonathan describes as a Hanoi-style minimalist version of the Vietnamese rice noodle soup, served with filet mignon, slivered ginger and, of course, the prerequisite fresh greens.
Where it is: Pho Filet (9463 Garvey Avenue, Unit A, South El Monte, CA 91733; 626-453-8911); Pho Filet 2 (2643 San Gabriel Boulevard, Rosemead, CA 91770; 626-280-1899)
Pro tip: Don’t get caught making the phở pas of overwhelming your broth with too much sriracha and hoisin sauce—go easy. Also, try the house-made hot sauce.