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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Daily 7:30am–8:00pm

Bar None
Credit cards None
Reservations Not accepted

Falls Church, VA
6765 A Wilson Blvd.
Falls Church, VA
(703) 533-3130
Pho Xe Lua
The space is charming, and the menu is—you guessed it—pho

Are you ready for a vaguely Bohemian treat that feels straight out of French Indochina?

How about a vaguely Bohemian treat in a mall whose Vietnamese-food spaces—even if they peddle high-quality food—are generally going for little more than white walls and a TV?

If Eden Center’s atmospheres are mind-numbing, this one will transport you straight to the old-school colonial Orient. From the time-worn bookshelf lined with a curious library of Vietnamese culture and history—the dominant interior element from the moment you walk in—to the disarmingly sophisticated oil paintings that line the white walls of this airy space, Pho Xe Lua comes off as an eminently literate outpost of coffee, conversation, and, of course, delicious broth.

The menu is short, sweet, and to the point. Pho is it—refreshingly, there’s literally nothing else on the menu—and all the versions cost the same, which is a couple of dollars more than the competition: at press time, it was $7.75 for a small and $8.95 for a large. That’s certainly not cheap for Eden, but it’s also not even the price of a mediocre appetizer at an upmarket DC joint. Free marinated onions highlight the assortment of veggies that come with the pho.

Meats come in smallish cuts, but they’re serviceable, and the broth is good but not great. But on the balance, the pho is on par with most, and the one-of-a-kind atmosphere makes it all worthwhile.

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