One of the perks of living in LA, or any big, highly diverse city, is the high variety of foods. You can go on a culinary world tour and never leave the city limits, although I do encourage people to go to the source of any cultural experience. One of my favorite types of cuisine that just happens to be available right around the corner is Vietnamese. The spot is called China Beach, and it is in Venice on Pacific Ave, literally just two blocks from the Hotel Erwin and another Venice legend, Mao’s Kitchen. Even though China Beach is close enough we could walk and pick up, we often have it delivered because we usually get it when we are hung over and walking anywhere is out of the question.
Friday night was one of those nights, not because we were hung over, but because Jonathan had two teeth pulled: still a good enough reason for delivery. Without exception we always get an order of Pho, usually beef or beef and meatballs, but this time just with veggies because the meat would have been too tough for Jonathan to chew. Poor guy. We also usually get another noodle or rice dish so that there is enough to go around, but I just went for an order of the fried spring rolls and soft shrimp spring rolls this time. If you’re a roll person too, like I am, these simple apps are the best. The fried rolls are smaller and crispy with the veggies inside, and they come with that delicious pinkish orange plum sauce that I like to soak them in. The soft rolls are fat and translucent with shrimp and beef inside and peanut sauce on the side. Exactly what I wanted.
The Pho though is really their signature dish, and they do it so well. For take away and delivery they cleverly package the sprouts and basil, and noodles separately. The soup broth comes with the veggies or meat already in it, but you can add the other ingredients yourself ensuring that they are fresh upon consuming. Such a brilliant idea. Once again China Beach set us right and really picked our spirits up. The flavors are just right and so comforting, and a nice change from bad Chinese food. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in LA you never have to eat bad food if you know where to go.
The only draw back here is that there is a $3.00 delivery fee, which on top of tax and tip is just a pain. So a relatively inexpensive meal becomes at least $6 or $7 more expensive. It is BYOB though when you decide to dine-in, but parking is limited on site, though this is no surprise in Venice, where parking is a feat.
2024 Pacific Ave
Venice, CA 90291
Open Daily 11:00am – 9:00pm