Sherman's Food Adventures: Pho Japolo (North Vancouver)

Pho Japolo (North Vancouver)

Sometimes, it can be quite the chore to find kid's activities that we haven't done over and over again.  Therefore, we try to hit spots we haven't been before (with the kids).  For whatever reason, we decided to visit the Capilano River Hatchery in March.  Yes, that was really not the best time to visit the place as there are no salmon spawning and frankly, it was a bit nippy outside too.  As you can imagine, the visit was short and lacking in entertainment value.  I think the rainbow from the mist from the raging river was the highlight of the visit.  So underwhelmed and a bit frozen from our outdoor adventure, we decided to hit up Pho Japolo at the foot of Capilano Road and Marine Drive.

Ah yes, this place has gone through several restaurants and not once has the decor remarkably changed.  Oh well, we were here for the food only right?  Interestingly, the Lemongrass Chicken on Rice arrived first with a bounty of meat atop some rice.  As you can see in the picture, there was more chicken than rice. However, the chicken was dry and hard.  At the very least, it was flavourful in a sweet kind of way and charred nicely.  Trying to change it up a bit, I decided to try the Cambodian Dry Noodles. For a non-Phnom Penh Version, this was pretty good.  The noodles were still chewy and doused with just the right amount of sauce (which was a good balance of salty and sweet).  The ample amount of ingredients were well-prepared as well.

Onto something they would like to call a Banh Mi.  I say this because this was the worst version I've had in quite some time.  Yes, I realize they are not a Banh Mi joint, but still, they are a Vietnamese restaurant.  The bread was super dense and rock hard while the meats were sliced too thick being difficult to chew.  Furthermore, there was too much butter-mayo and not enough pate or fish sauce (or Maggi).  Lastly and strangely, the Pho Dac Biet showed up at the very end of the meal.  It was okay with tender meats and a sweet broth that was a bit heavy with the MSG.  After it was all said and done, it wasn't like we were displeased with our meal, but we were certainly not that satisfied.  Consider this an average experience at best.

The Good:
- Fairly decent portions
- Some good dishes

The Bad:
- Some bad dishes
- Decor could use an update

Pho Japolo Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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