Kim’s Restaurant – #PhoDown
Since tomorrow evening is May’s #PhoDown, I figured it’s just about time to bring you April’s delights. I’ve been slacking a little in getting these up. Next month I shall be better. Maybe… I can always say I’ll try! (that’s the spirit!)
Anyway, our visit to Kim’s Restaurant was an interesting one. It’s the type of restaurant that might be off-putting to some by appearance. It’s located in a seedy little strip mall on the West Bank right next to the Expressway. While it’s got a large sign out front, you actually have to go around the back of the restaurant to enter. Into what looks like a service entrance. You even find yourself asking (more than once): “Am I even supposed to be back here?” But yes, yes you are because there are several hand-written signs guiding visitors to the shady back entrance…that’s actually the main entrance.
Suffice it to say this location and its surroundings aren’t for the faint of heart. As I said, it’s kinda seedy. It’s very odd to have to enter into the back of a restaurant, yes. The interior of the restaurant was even more interesting. It looks like it was an old Walmart or Sears or something. Basically, big space with high ceilings. In one corner, there’s a little restaurant area set up. The rest of the building looks like it’s sometimes used for parties or catering. High stacks of chairs sat off in corners. Tables stacked on one another littered the large area. There was lots of under-utilized space in this behemoth of a building.
You may be wondering why we were even here? Why go to such a odd location when you can get pho from so many other places in the city? Well I’ll tell ya – it was recommended. Highly. By one of our #PhoDown members’ Filipino immigrant parents. I figure if people who know what good Asian food tastes like recommend a place, you have to try it. Not all restaurants are pretty on the outside. We know that all too well here in New Orleans. So we were willing to overlook the non-traditional setting and give this pho an honest to goodness chance. We put aside all our preconceived notions about restaurants, dining and what’s “normal” and trusted our collective gut.
Guess what – it paid off! We had a great meal. And while the restaurant was a bit quiet for a Sunday lunch crowd at a pho joint, we still saw other patrons and they were happily eating their meals along side us. Eating at Kim’s is like being a part of this little secret club. It’s well known and I’m sure it even gets busy in there. But on this Sunday we felt like they were there for our benefit only.
We started the meal as we typically do with spring rolls. We had the shrimp and pork spring rolls and then we had an order of tofu spring rolls. Both were tasty. I mean, it’s hard to mess up spring rolls. They both came with a peanut dipping sauce (not pictured). I preferred the tofu spring rolls just because I really like fried tofu. It’s so chewy and tasty! yum, yum.
Then we got to the pho. I ordered a rare beef pho as I typically do. It had a tasty broth with hints of spice. As you can see below, I decked my bowl out with lots of basil, bean sprouts, Sriracha and hoisin sauce. The portion of meat was very generous and the meal was filling. Pretty delicious!
Overall, I definitely recommend giving Kim’s a try. Especially if you’re feeling ambitious and want to live on the edge a little. Interestingly, they changed their hours to where they’re only open from 9am-4pm daily so no dinner (sorry). On last check, their website hadn’t been updated with that info so be advised that you may want to call ahead before visiting.
- Address – 3715 Westbank Expy, Harvey, LA 70058
- Phone – 504.340.0178
- Hours – Mon-Sun 9a-4p
- Online – Website, Urbanspoon, and Yelp