Last Thursday night January 17th, 9021Pho hosted their ribbon cutting ceremony with the City of Glendale and Chamber for their fourth location at the Glendale Galleria. Immediately following the formalities and proclamation presentations to 9021Pho creator, Chef Kimmy Tang and President Greg Aghamanoukian, I headed straight to where the food and wine was served.
Chef Kimmy Tang, is a fashion designer who pursued her love for food and first opened 9021Pho in Beverly Hills (hence the clever name). She created the 9021Pho Vietnamese inspired cuisine with French and California influences. Chef Kimmy was easy to spot, sporting brilliant red highlights, personalized red chef coat, and cool camouflage pants.
The food was delectable with beautiful presentation at this sit down, casual dining restaurant. Chef Kimmy showcased a variety of tasty appetizers, presenting that the 9021Pho is more than just pho. I was a little bummed they didn’t serve any pho at the reception, but figured with a large, mingling crowd it was probably easier to serve finger foods. Trying out the scrumptious noshes was a definite teaser that assures I’ll be back to a 9021Pho in the near future to try more items on the menu, including the pho.
Bowls of fried shrimp chips were on tables, and soon after friendly servers passed out appetizers and wine left and right. Chef Kimmy’s creations offer something for vegans, vegetarians, seafood lovers, and carnivores alike. A seemingly endless supply of pork pate, fresh spring rolls, fried vegan eggrolls, shrimp dumplings, pork bahn mi, and yucca (casava) cake made its way around more than a few times. Chef Kimmy shares that the green color from the yucca cake is derived from native Vietnamese herbs. My favorite picks of the night were the pork pate and the shrimp dumplings (yum!).
The other half of the fun was checking out the restaurant itself. 9021Pho’s design successfully combines a wall of succulent plants, an artistic flair, vibrant colors, decorative light fixtures, bright kitchen and dining, with an open vibe and ambiance. At the Glendale location, it is a great spot to grab fresh food and people watch at the mall through all the windows.
In a few conversations I had with Chef Kimmy, I discovered there is a lot of passion behind this remarkable chef who works seven days a week. I look forward to meet Chef Kimmy again for a more in depth interview about her inspiring story from fleeing Vietnam as a child, her desire to help children, and her success as a chef, and 9021Pho.
To find a location in Los Angeles or more about 9021Pho, log on to www.9021pho.com. If Los Angeles is geographically undesirable, don’t worry there may be one coming soon near you. It was announced later that evening that they have plans to expand to fifty (50) locations in the next five years. Chef Kimmy and her partners scoped out a location in Las Vegas the following day after this event.
*Note that the Glendale Galleria 9021Pho is not located in the food court area, but mixed with mall retail directly across from JcPenny.