I Luv Pho is tucked into a strip center near Medical City Hospital. It’s in the space formerly occupied by Luna de Noche but it’s easy to miss – technically the sign says “I (heart) Pho.”
When I visited the Vietnamese noodle house last week it was full of men on their lunch break (I was the only female), and they all had the look of regulars. Though the place has only been open 6 months, nary a one gave the menu a glance before placing their order.
The guy at the table next to me was a virtual Pho aficionado. He frequents noodle joints all over town, he told me, and I Luv Pho has quickly become one of his favorites.
I ordered egg rolls – crispy on the outside, fresh and tasty on the inside – followed by #102 on the menu, Mi Xao Mem Thap Cam. This stir fried noodle dish was delish, with snap peas, julienne carrots and broccoli, plus my choice of shrimp, beef, chicken or squid (I passed on the squid).
My new friend at the next table had #52 Mi Bo Kho – beef stew – which you can order with egg noodles or a side of French bread. He had high praise.
I returned the next day with my hubby, who ordered #P11, Pho Tai. The noodle soup with filet mignon was beefy, not greasy, and thick with pasta. My X110, lemongrass chicken, was flavorful with just the right amount of sauce and onion. Most dishes are $8-9.
I Luv Pho offers a long list of smoothies and boba (bubble tea) beverages, including many with exotic ingredients claiming health benefits. You can pick up a white bean pudding boba or thai tea to soothe your day’s rough edges, or order a soursop smoothie, said to have cancer-killing and sleep aiding properties (I took my mango smoothie to-go and sipped the sweet treat all afternoon).
I Luv Pho was once an upscale Mexican restaurant, so it feels nicer than many hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese places I’ve visited. There’s a lovely outdoor patio, but they don’t serve alcohol – at least not yet – so for now it’s BYOB. Waiters take orders on iPads, and the Dallas location offers delivery (they also have a restaurant in Irving).
Parking in their small lot isn’t easy, and traffic at Forest and Central is dicey at lunchtime. I Luv Pho is worth it.