We are living in an interesting time when it comes to food. New restaurants are opening up at an alarming rate. Food trucks have taken over parking lots, streets and have whole festivals dedicated to their unique cuisine.
Finding a comfortable neighborhood restaurant seems to be a tough task these days, especially in Los Angeles. Everyone is waiting for the newest restaurant to open up, even though the “Hottest restaurant in town” just opened a week earlier. The Beach Cities have made it a little easier(for us anyhow)  to relax at a local place and catch up with neighbors. Only recently have Chefs brought their creative cuisine to the ocean with restaurants like MB Post, Abigaile and The Strand House all opening their doors within the last year.

In our 3 years of living here, we have only discovered one place that draws us back on a regular basis and that is Pho PCH in Redondo Beach. It is a small, unassuming Vietnamese restaurant with an even smaller menu. Everything here is authentic: from the food, the decor and the charming personalities of the owners. The prices are extremely low and such is the reason that they usually run out of banh mi quite early. If you call early enough you can reserve a banh mi and pick it up later in the day. That isn’t the only dish that will keep your wallet fat, just about everything on the menu runs under $10 so it’s easy to get full for a great price. Their huge bowl of pho is laced with ginger, star anise and comes adorned with jalapenos, mint and bean sprouts.

It feels good to be able to jump on your beach cruiser and in a few minutes feel like you are in the comfort of your own home. I believe it’s the simple things in life that make us truly appreciate being alive.  I could easily give up shaved truffles, uni, and foie gras for a great meal with simple ingredients. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love exploring new cuisine and finding a hip restaurant in a cool neighborhood but a comfortable, local setting is all I really need.

Here are a few items we ordered on our most recent visit:

Vermicelli noodle with grilled pork and Vietnamese egg roll.

Fried rice with a sunny side up egg

Shrimp spring rolls

-Matthew McIvor

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