Restaurant review: Pho Japolo (West Broadway)

Pho Japolo is a local chain of Vietnamese restaurants (plus one sushi place). Their newest location is in Kitsilano on West Broadway, just off MacDonald street. It took over the former “Tang’s Bistro” location.

We stopped in a for a quick weekend lunch. We were seated immediately upon arrival.  The menu is fairly standard as vietnamese restaurants go.

This is the grilled pork and chicken with rice

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This is a fillet of boneless chicken, marinated in lemongrass and garlic, grilled lightly.  Its served alongside a thin boneless pork chop, similarly marinated in lemongrass and garlic.  They served over white rice, with a side of shredded lettuce, matchstick carrots and slice cucumbers.  It’s dressed with a sweet oil and scallion sauce, and served with a cup of dipping sauce (made from vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and crushed chili peppers).

The pork and chicken had some really good flavors, but both were slightly tough.  Not sure if it was over cooking, or lack of tenderization.  The greens were crisp and fresh, and the sauces were aromatic and sharp.

We also had a small side dish of deep-fried chicken wings.

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This is five chicken wings, marinated and dredged in (probably) tapioca starch and rice flour.  It’s deep-fried to light crisp and served hot.  These were nice wings.  They were hot and very crisp, and still juicy inside.  But they kinda lacked in seasoning.  There was some salt in there, but that’s about it.  It could use some white pepper or something else to give it some more oomph.

The room is a decent size (probably seats 40-50), it’s clean and bright.

The servers were efficient, but not especially warm or helpful.

The prices were a little high for Vietnamese cuisine, but probably what I should expect on the west side of town.

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