Pho Chandler

Pho Chandler
4055 S. Arizona Ave. #8
Chandler, AZ 85248
(480) 895-9090

My wife and I decided to try Pho Chandler because it is conveniently located to our home. While we have a favorite Vietnamese restaurant, it is always good to try others to expand your repertoire. After all, going to a new restaurant isn’t like cheating!

The restaurant is a nice clean place. Upon entering we were greeted and seated by a friendly hostess / waitress / bus person. We were having a late lunch, so they weren’t busy. The Olympics were playing on the LCD screen in the dining room. While not exactly traditional Vietnamese décor, it all worked in a very casual way.

There is no lunch menu, just one menu for lunch and dinner. This wasn’t really a problem as everything on the menu was less than $10. The appetizers ranged from $3.50 to $5. All in all Pho Chandler is an inexpensive, casual place.

Since Vietnamese is one of our favorite cuisines, we had high hopes when we ordered our standard dishes. While we are adventurous dinners, I find it is easier to judge a restaurant if I am comparing apples to apples. In a new Vietnamese restaurant, I usually order spring rolls and a simple rice or noodle dish. We went for the spring rolls and the Pho Xao Ga Tom Thai lan Lat Na. Translated that means Thai style stir-fried with chicken breast, shrimp and rice noodle.

The spring rolls were not very crispy. Almost as if the veggies had gone a little soft. The peanut sauce was flavorless. It actually didn’t even have a lot of peanut flavor. The main dish was a disaster. The stir fry consists of chicken and shrimp on Pad Thai type rice noodles. All of the ingredients were cooked a bit too long. The chicken and the shrimp were rubbery and the noodles were, well, over cooked. The shrimp also tasted like it was at the end of its shelf life.

The only saving grace of the meal was a competently prepared Thai Ice tea. All in all this was a strange dining experience for a Vietnamese restaurant as a number of the dishes seem to be Thai. If they are still in business in the winter time, I might go back to try some Pho or Bun Cha Ha Noi.

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Sakana

Sakana
http://www.sakanasushi.com/
5061 E. Elliot Road
Phoenix, AZ 85044
(480)598-0506

Sakana has multiple locations. This review only applies to this location.

Upon entering Sakana you see what appears to be a fairly typical Japanese restaurant. They have teppanyaki tables , regular tables and a sushi bar. The restaurant is clean and nicely decorated. Service is slow friendly. There is a small waiting area where you can sit if there is a long wait for a table. This can come in handy on some nights.

The teppanyaki is available in the usual varieties. Shrimp, chicken, beef etc… My favorite is the steak. While the ingredients and the presentation are common to many other restaurants, the quality of the ingredients and the seasoning is a bit better.  The steak is a bit leaner while being more tender. The seasoning is also more flavorful. I like Sakana’s teppanyaki more than most of the others that I’ve had.

Sakana’s sushi is also pretty good. The lunch specials are a good deal. You can get a cutlet plate for less than $10. The food is hot and reasonable.

I rate Sakana 3 stars. They are about average for Japanese food in Arizona.