If the line out the door is any indication, Golden Deli restaurant offers some of the best pho in the San Gabriel Valley. Tucked away in an aging strip mall on West Las Tunas Drive, Golden Deli has been drawing scores of customers since 1981. Discerning Vietnamese food fans primarily come for the steaming bowls of noodles and tender beef basting in a light, flavorful broth.
While the restaurant is not large, it boasts a warm interior with wooden tables and chairs, as well as a peaceful waterfall landscape as a focal point. Diners should expect a wait of 30 to 40 minutes for lunch and dinner. An adjacent shop of quirky odds and ends makes for a pleasant diversion for diners, who can inhale the aromas of beef broth and deep fried spring rolls wafting in from next door while they wait.
Golden Deli’s cha gio draws as many fans for the restaurant as for the pho. Cigar-sized crispy spring rolls burst with ground pork, wood ear mushrooms, glass noodles, and carrots. A heaping plate of herbs and greens served with the spring rolls explodes with the flavors of Vietnamese basil, rau ram, mint, and purple basil, all tossed with romaine lettuce.
Pho and cha gio are just two of the 100 excellent menu choices. Bun, a popular rice vermicelli noodle soup and other flavorful and brothy soups, as well as broken rice platters, are accompanied by traditional Vietnamese teas and fruit drinks.
Golden Deli is closed on Wednesdays, but fans of the restaurant can drive down the street to visit one of the other Golden Deli restaurants, Saigon Flavor and Vietnamese Restaurant. Saigon Flavor is situated near the San Gabriel mall, with essentially the same menu. Vietnam Restaurant expands on the traditional Golden Deli menu with barbecued squid, baked catfish, and a seven-beef dinner.