Pho bo ga la

It’s been a year since Aline and I visited The Basil Leaf on Somerset for dinner. And it looks like we should have come more often than we did because as we strolled through Chinatown tonight, we started questioning ourselves about its location. Didn’t there used to be a stairwell leading down to a basement restaurant adorned in bamboo near the Kowloon market? Or was it further down the street?

You see, we couldn’t find it.

When we finally did all that was left of the place was a boarded up unlit door. Bummer. We’ll miss it. Think Coriander Thai at half the price.

On the bright side that meant we tried a new restaurant: Pho bo ga la, a vietnamese diner just up the street.

Pho means noodle soup in Vietnamese. Bo is beef, while ga is chicken. La is the family name of Dennis who owns the original Pho Bo Ga La at 784 Somerset St., and the new one, slightly larger and more upscale, with more Vietnamese choices, across the street, on the north side, where we found ourselves. The menu at the original place offers complete meal-in-a-bowl traditional pho soups, with rice, egg, tapioca and u-don, or udon, (Japanese) noodles.

Not in the mood for soup, we tried the springroll appetizer, a couple of vermicelli plates and a couple of sugary drinks. Can’t say the food was anything to rave about but the avocado shake with the huge straw was definitely a nice dessert.

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