Monday, July 14, 2008

Pho 32 - Vietnamese and Shabu Shabu: Korean Style

This Korean owned restaurant serves mostly Vietnamese food, but they also serve shabu shabu. There's at least three branches that I know of, one in Manhattan (32nd & 5th), one in Bayside, Queens, and of course, the one that I frequent in Flushing (Roosevelt 'tween Main & Union). Although prices have risen here recently--where hasn't it for that matter-- it's still a pretty good place to get a bite. That staff is fast and polite, and the manager is very kind. There is one, possibly two, really great things about Pho 32. The first one is that they're open 24/7; where else can you grab a piping hot bowl of pho at 2 in the a.m.? The second thing that sets Pho 32 apart from the rest, is that the cilantro is placed on the side, so if you're not big on cilantro you don't have to eat it. This last point can be a good one to know if you're planning on introducing friends to Vietnamese but you already know that cilatntro would be the deal breaker. Cilantro is just one of those things: either you love it or you hate it. Praise the Lord I'm of the former. Cilantro isn't big in Korea, so thus, it could be said that Pho 32 is Vietnamese with a slight Korean twist. But all in all, if you don't mind cilantro and it's not deep into the wee hours, you'd probably be better off elsewhere, as Pho 32's prices are a bit higher and broths a bit less on point than your average Vietnamese restaurant. View Larger Map Manhattan: 2 W 32nd St
Flushing: 136-71 Roosevelt Ave Bayside: 4534 Bell Boulevard

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