El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The # 6 Bánh Xèo Chay - Vegetarian

The # 6 Bánh Xèo Chay - Vegetarian: Vietnamese crepe with tofu, mushrooms, bean sprouts, mung beans, served with fresh herbs and rice paper wraps.

When we arrived at 8:50pm on Saturday evening at the Pho Café on West Sunset Blvd, we were but two of four people in the well lighted and stylish Vietnamese eatery that looked like it was art directed out of a classic Stanley Kubrick film. Within ten minutes from our arrival and without really even noticing, the eatery became packed with hungry urban dwellers seated in the brightly colored post modern chairs under the atomic lighting which complimented every table. I don’t know if it was the lighting fixtures that I was obsessed with or the natural high of the delicious mung beans I was enjoying, but every patron looked eerily the same; 24 - 35 years of age, very urban and digital, beautifully liberal and downtown fashionable, the males wearing short sleeve shirts with flap front pockets while their female counterparts showcased some eclectic bohemian eyewear. Overhearing their conversations, everyone seemed to be on the cusp of artistic greatness and freedom which made me immediately second guess the major I chose in college 25 years ago. Maybe not obviously so, but I was the odd older duck in the eatery with my grayish hair, wearing a wristwatch and the hidden prescription orthodics in my shoes while a Johnny Cash CD in the first position of my car’s archaic CD changer awaited my company for the drive home.

After paying the bill of 17 dollars and change for a fantastic and unique meal for two served up by a friendly staff, we exited the eatery and entered the parking lot which by now was bulging with a selection of Toyota Prius’ and 1990s Volvos. I pulled out of the parking lot as the harmonies of Johnny Cash’s “When it’s springtime in Alaska, its 40 below” hit the speakers in my car. I suddenly recalled the V8 Chevy Camaro that I drove in my youth while growing up close to this same neighborhood, and pealed out of the parking lot to the best of the ability of my present day 4 cylinder import. I hit the accelerator down Sunset Blvd and headed east towards a full moon, as Johnny was joined by his wife June Carter Cash singing the verse, “…we did the Eskimo hop all around the Saloon“. I quickly glanced into the rear view mirror to see the street lights of Los Angles 90026 blur into one as an image from the film, The Stepford Wives ironically came into focus.

The Pho Café in Silverlake serves up the best Vietnamese cuisine in the city. With a pleasant and knowledgeable staff to help guide you through a wide variety of choices from a very economic friendly menu. Translation: great food, good staff, affordable prices....go there.

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