Pho Hoa Soan Ben Them Cu

My parents have taken me here a couple of times before. In terms of quality, this pho restaurant is a reasonable place to go if you like to rotate where you go instead of consistently going to just one pho place all the time.

One drawback to this restaurant, if I remember correctly, is that there are no vegetarian menu choices.

Furthermore, while water and tea is often offered free at other pho restaurants, this place charges. Reading the Yelp reviews online, I found similar and related complaints about extraneous and/or non-forewarned charges (see below). To top it off, their Facebook page is three for three on negative reviews (the posts are in Vietnamese, but I can read enough to know that they complain about the prices).

A: "Beware they used pen and paper to calculate your tap, no receipt... They added tips without reminding tips included... [...] They charged for water and everything else....even hanh tran nuoc beo..." 12/22/2013
B: "They also nickel and dime you for water or extra lime." 10/11/2013
C: "They charge extra for everything, yes even the salad and sprouts." 5/17/2013
D: [A customer orders a "small" bowl of pho for pick-up over the phone.] Apparently, they only have a 'large' size for to-go orders with an extra 'to-go charge' of [50 cents]. When I ordered the small size, they did not mention that this option was not available and happily put in my order [anyways]. [When I inquired about the price], [the cashier] was rude and made sure that I felt like I was wrong! 4/8/2013
E: "They charge for everything: water, add-ons like onions, things you would normally get for free at other pho restaurants. [...] If you don't finish your drink and you need a cup to-go, they charge you for that." 10/27/2012
F: "[M]y mom was curious so she asked the cashier what the charges are for. [T]he answer is $6.25 soup, $1.50 banh pho (pho noddle), $.50 gia va rau (vegetable), .25 gia trung (steamed bean sprout), .25 hanh tran (boiled onion in oil)." 8/4/2012
G: "P.S. They charge 25 cents for water...seriously." 6/21/2012
H: "The decor is nice but I hate the fact that they nickle and dime you for everything. For example - they charge you 25 cents for water. Now that's interesting!" 4/17/2012
I: They charge us for ice water [and] hanh dam (onions dipped in vinegar). [T]hey [also] charged us 15% gratuity for a group of 6 or more. We clarified that we were only 3 adults and 2 kids which when I last checked was only 5 total. They said [because] I asked for an empty bowl to split the pho for my kids, that was consider the 6th person! [That doesn't make sense!] 4/13/2012
J: "They freakin' charged us for water!" 11/27/2011

At the least, extra costs should be clearly marked on the menu. As a courtesy and sign of good service, extra costs could be confirmed verbally. For example, if you order guacamole at Chipotle, the employee will confirm with the customer that he/she will be charged extra. While the employees probably forget every now and then, the cost is listed clearly on the large menu. Finally, while it may be tiring for the employee to repeatedly confirm the extra charge, it likely saves time from reduced customer complaints.

With this discussion of good business policy in mind, I would close this entry with the warning that Pho Hoa Soan Ben Them Cu should not be the restaurant of choice if you're looking for good service or good pricing. However, and Yelp reviews would seem to agree, the place does make a decent bowl of pho. Actually, I should also mention that this place pretty much only sells pho and that some reviews warn that some drinks contain an excessive amount of ice.

Pho Hoa Soan Ben Them Cu

Relevant Links:
Pho Hoa Soan Ben Them Cu - Garden Grove, CA (

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