I was recently eating pho soup in LA’s most hip, Vietnamese restaurant.  Want proof?  The restaurant doesn’t have its name displayed on the outside, just a blank white board where one would expect the name to be.

I’m sure this is a tactical move by the proprietors.  Save money and keep the local American Apparel wearing residents happy that they go to a place you “just have to know about.”  It also keeps cost adverse people like me coming because after, all how much can they charge you when they look like they opened for business that morning?  In reality it’s been there for years and customers in essence pay them to keep the ambiance at “street-cred” level.  Pretty genius when you think about it.  Imagine convincing a girl that costume jewelry was way cool and real gold and diamonds was for squares. What a beautiful world that would be.  It could happen too.  Oprah, please send out a memo…please…come on Oprah! Leave men with something good to remember you by.  If Jay Z can kill throw back jerseys with on line in a song then Oprah can end trips to Jareds.

The Pho Café’s real selling point, as it should be, is the pho.  It’s incredibly tasty and at any point you can look down your row (there’s only on line of tables) and see people chomping and slurping way more than they are talking.

When I finally came up for air one of my friends I was dining with offered me a toothpick…from his wallet…not in plastic!  My other homie took the toothpick.  I declined and instead got a nicely wrapped toothpick from the café’s toothpick cup.  My toothpick wielding friend was a bit put off but I can’t put something in my teeth with direct access to my blood line that was in somebody’s wallet.  I appreciate my friend’s consideration and I’m floored by his conscientiousness.  It’s like he’s a professional eater or something.  I once tried to have toothpicks on the ready but I put them in my front pocket and my upper thigh didn’t appreciate being tenderized as I walked.  Nor did my cuticles enjoy being jabbed to the point of drawing blood every time I reached into my pocket.  So I decided to leave my space between my teeth clearing at the mercy of my dining establishments or until I get home and floss.  Maybe wrapped toothpicks in a wallet are the answer.  Guess I have to start carrying a wallet now.  Baby steps.

Two Quick Side Notes (QSN):

>It’s pronounced Pha.  Trust me, it is.  And no, I don’t know why they spell it with an O

>The Pho Café comes up on a Google search.  I guess it’s a not so hidden gem.