Pho Lotus is the first pho restaurant to open in the Elk Grove area, so I thought I’d give this restaurant a try on a sunny Sunday afternoon. On a preliminary note, my initial impression about this particular restaurant, compared to the rest of the typical Pho restaurants, is the décor. The place doesn’t feel or look like it’s a Vietnamese restaurant. This is a good thing! The décor complements its location very nicely and is very clean; however, the lighting is just a bit dim.
Now, on to the main part: THE FOOD! I started off my lunch with the spring roll appetizers. The ingredients are fairly fresh and have a nice snap of crunches when you bite into them. The rolls are wrapped tightly and mix well with the peanut sauce. However, they are quite small. Next, I ordered the traditional vermicelli noodle bowl salad, which is also known in my native Vietnamese tongue as “boon thit nuong”. I’ve always been a fan of this traditional dish because of its rich flavor when mixed with the vinegar sauce over the noodles and meats in the bowl. I’ve always said to people that you’ll know how authentic a Vietnamese restaurant is by this well known dish. The bowl was fair in size and came out very colorful with an array of delightful colors. The shredded pork was well marinated and charbroiled. As for the noodles, they were just the right amount for the size of the bowl. Though the noodles were abundant they’ve skimped on the proteins. The bowl could have used a little more pork and shrimp, but luckily that day it was just enough to satisfy my appetite. In spite of this, I would say the sauce wasn’t as I have expected. The smell was a little too bold, and it didn’t really taste too well with the dish.
Finally, the SERVICE: Needs a lot of work! After my entrees were delivered, I never saw my server again. Also, it took them awhile to give us our water and the wait time for the food could have been faster. I had to signal for them to come. Overall, this is a decent restaurant in the neighborhood if you are craving Vietnamese food. However, besides the cleanliness and convenient location, I would choose the other restaurants on Stockton Boulevard, preferably Hoa Viet or Saigon.
Pros: Clean and the asthetics are a plus.
Cons: Too expensive for Vietnamese food, portions were to small, and poor service. To conclude, I would never come here again. I’ll stick with the ones on Stockton Boulevard, preferably Hoa Viet or Saigon.