|Soya? Cho-ya? Koya?|
| It's Xoia, actually!
Xoia Vietnamese Eats of Echo Park.
Sometime ago, I read about a Vietnamese restaurant serving pho tacos (probably in LA Weekly). Pho tacos! Nats, given my love of pho and Vietnamese cuisine, I had to give it a try at some point.
Tonight, I was looking for a place that offered good food for under $15 total. I rediscovered Xoia when I searched the internet for Asian food near Downtown L.A.
Now, it was a rainy, funky day because of the wet weather moving through Southern California, but I still couldn't quite explain why Xoia was so empty tonight! Other than myself, there was only a two-top and a woman placing a take-out order in the restaurant the entire time I was there. In contrast, Masa "Bakery" across the street was doing pretty well. (I tried to get some cake at Masa, thinking it was a bakery. But I disappointingly learned that "Bakery" was a serious misnomer: The cafe bakes things for use in the restaurant but it doesn't have a proper assortment of products for sale)
The layout and decor at Xoia is worth mentioning. There is a roofed patio in front of the restaurant and a ramp leads to the entrance at the end of that patio. Inside, the walls of the restaurant are adorned with lively works of art.
For din din, I ordered an appetizer - 3 Pho Beef Tacos (5.75 USD) - and banh mi - Lemongrass Pork Carnitas with Shrimp Chips (6.5 USD).
I liked the food here. The Pho Beef Tacos, though counterintuitive, actually worked out very well. I'd work on the sauce though: The salsa roja provided was good but it didn't necessarily work with the tacos. Perhaps there could be a way to transform the broth component of pho into a sauce for the tacos?
The banh mi was also good. It was a cross between Mexican and Vietnamese cuisines, which is what Xoia is all about. I enjoyed the shrimp chips but I can't really say for sure that shrimp was the flavor that registered on my taste buds.
Parking seems to be an issue here. I parked on Lemoyne a block away from the restaurant, in a section without parking restrictions and meters. I think I was lucky.
How Much I Paid: 15 USD.
My Rating: One and a half stars out of four stars (good to very good). Service was fair. I plan on coming back in the near future. Website: http://www.facebook.com/XoiaVietnameseEats
P.S. It is "soya" by the way :)