Pho Consomme on RB Boulevard finds the perfect blend

(Brett Callwood)

By Brett Callwood

Vietnamese restaurant Pho Consomme is located on a not particularly pedestrian section of West Redondo Beach Boulevard, so it’s not going to get much foot traffic. You need to know about it, and probably drive to it. 

That said, it’s worth the effort. The parking is easy and convenient, and the staff are warm and friendly once you’re inside. It might not look like much on the outside, and the decor inside is basic and clean, but the food is the real attraction.

Pho, a noodle soup which is sort of the Vietnamese equivalent of ramen, has become a real American staple in recent years. Like ramen (and not the cheap packet version) , it became a much used part of the culinary vernacular in this country and for good reason.

A good pho is hard to beat if you want something that is hearty, full of flavor and not entirely unhealthy. Diners always have the option of putting in as much or as little of the noodles and various other ingredients as they wish. So it could be carb-heavy, or completely carb-free. It’s up to you.

At Pho Consomme, the broth that forms the base of the pho is already delicious before you add anything at all to it. It’s steamy and fragrant, and really a joy to sip. That’s a wonderful jumping off point, and that’s where you start to build your dish. 

We opted for the mixed seafood and dumpling pho, so as well as the soft white rice noodles, it came with a generous amount of tasty steamed dumpling (meat filling unknown), shrimp, crab sticks (imitation crab, but still good), some shellfish and thinly sliced chicken.

That was a real mixed bag of ingredients, but it all tasted fresh and blended wonderfully. There was also the onion, cilantro and sauce to add, which finished the whole thing off perfectly. They certainly know their pho.

We had the pork fresh rolls for an appetizer, which were great. A standard, vegetable-filled fresh roll which also has some tasty pork skin in there. It’s chewy and crunchy, fatty and fresh, all at the same time.

We also had the Bun Dau Hu Xao Sa Ot, or tofu with lemongrass vermicelli. The thick, spicy sauce that the tofu is soaking on pairs wonderfully with the noodles and veg – like everything at this restaurant, it’s the blend of flavors that makes it work so well.

Pho Consomme is located at 1850 W. Redondo Beach Blvd., Gardena 90247. Call 310-217-1130.