9941 Hazard Ave
Garden Grove, CA 92844
Located in Little Saigon in Garden Grove, CA, Pho 79 serves up authentic Vietnamese Pho along with other Vietnamese dishes. Accessing the parking lot for this restaurant requires you to go over a pothole-filled drive to reach the rear parking lot. After we entered, a server promptly seated us and took our drink order. A short while later, he returned with a tablet to take our order. This facility is cash only.
Today, we decided to order the pork vermicelli dry noodle and the rare steak pho. The dry noodle came in a nice presentation with each component of the dish visible in separate regions of the bowl. They also included bean sprouts and cabbage under the noodle. Once mixed with the provided sauce, you taste a good balance of meat to noodle to vegetable. Unfortunately, the dish did taste different from other restaurants we tried mostly due to the large amount of fried garlic in the dish. The pho came with an ample amount of rare tender steak. I opted not to use the provided vegetables and sprouts because they did not look fresh. The broth is light, yet extremely savory. I can sense excessive MSG usage in this dish. The broth does have body and seems to have been created from lots of boiling beef. The noodles were standard and went well with the thinly-sliced beef. I did wish that the both was less savory and have more flavor instead.
Overall, Pho 79 serves up decent food, but falls short or tastes very different from other Vietnamese restaurants. Even with all the Zagat plaques on the wall, I cannot find a good reason to give a glowing review for this place. If you want a good deal on the food and be provided with great portion sizes, then Pho 79 will fit the bill, but I am sure there are other places in the area that can do better.