Olivia’s Bistro – Menus and Specials – 2014
Never judge a book by its cover. Fancy interior contradicts the dingy outer appearance.
Live music was performed by the server during our entire meal- I never experienced live entertainment while eating pho before. The service was excellent and welcoming.
Pho: the flavor of the broth was not oily, rich and tasty- even the small bowl of pho was very filling. We also ordered the v6 on the menu: crispy eggrolls & BBQ pork over rice vermicelli and vegetables. This dish was mediocre, not too flavorful. Prices were quite high for pho- large bowl of pho was about $10.
Vu N.Fountain Valley, CA
The owner is very genuine and kind. She helps out with the local community and Students at Cal State University Fullerton.
Aside from the business owner. This restaurant is a very cozy and romantic setting if you want to go out for lunch or a date.
For a Vietnamese Style Restaurant it is very authentic menu selection outside of Westminster (Little Saigon).
Overall a great experience. Will return for their lunch special (M-F $5.99) which priced more reasonably.
Destinee D. said: “Went here this past tuesday and it was pretty good but I do wish they gave you more meat in the pho. I ordered the steamed dumpling pho while my boyfriend got the beef pho (i saw hardly any meat in his bowl). Yum food though and good…” read more »
Review from Makana S.
- 3 friends
- 4 reviews
We unexpectedly stumbled across this little hole-in-the-wall (at least from the outside) because our original plans feel through. What a pleasant surprise! Clean, modern decor, courteous service, and a great ambiance (with live entertainment to boot) definitely made this a place I’d return to.
I enjoy Pho, but I would not call myself an expert. Nevertheless, it was tasty and filling (with generous portions). For the price you pay, it hits the spot!
Review from Adrian D.
- 21 friends
- 19 reviews
4/13/2012 2 photos 1 Check-in Here
found this place thanks to Yelp! Still recovering from a stomach issue at the time, the only thing that was appetizing enough for me to even *think* about was a big piping hot bowl of pho. The broth was flavorful, arrived quickly, and had a generous amount of everything. Exactly what the doctor ordered! I will definitely check out the rest of the menu!
the place was neat and clean too. i’ve been to my share of pho places where the environment made me question whether i should be eating there. it was reassuring to know that i won’t have a second bout of stomach anything after my trip here
Was this review …?
Review from Jen N.
- 17 friends
- 54 reviews
Updated – 4/3/2012 11 photos
I guess the tastiness (or lack of) varies with every meal/item they have here. I stopped by here today with an old classmate, and this time around, I thought the food was just okay.
I ordered com ga nuong (rice with BBQ chicken), and it could have been a lot better. The chicken was very dry and dull in my opinion, and I had trouble cutting it with my knife (or may I suck at using knives, who knows). Overall, the chicken was rather flavorless in most areas, so I had to use the soy sauce they served. About the soy sauce, I thought that was made just right, definitely not overly salty like the typical soy sauce we’ve bought at Asian markets, so that was cool.
Anyways, I will still make visits to this place every now and then though to try majority of the items they serve. Up next I’ll give their banh xeo (Vietnamese crepe) a try. The size and portion doesn’t look to be worth $9.95 though, but whenever I feel like spending quite a bit on something like banh xeo, I’ll give it a shot. Some lady sitting near us ordered it, and I thought it looked pretty good, so we’ll see.
Review from Justin H.
I was really impressed with this place. The restaurant itself was clean inside, the service was fast and very friendly, and the food was awesome. My coworker took me here while I’m in town for a business trip and I was wanting to have some good Pho in Cali before heading home and this did the trick.
I ordered the number 1 which has all the good stuff and I left full and happy. I really have nothing negative to say about here and I would definitely come back when I am in the area.
Review from Tom N.
- 59 friends
- 260 reviews
Nothing beats a hot bowl of pho on a cold rainy day…or that was the goal. The pho was hot, and the rest fell short. The broth was bland and tasteless, and there were exactly 4 slices of beef in the entire bowl.
We usually head to Westminster or GG for Pho, but figure to try this place because it was so close…We were completely disappointed, next time I will head to the Pho shop off imperial for something close. Everything just comes across completely mediocre if that…What a waste, there goes an hour of my life I will never get back.
Review from Linda N.
- 85 friends
- 37 reviews
La Habra, CA
2/20/2012 1 Check-in Here
After reading the yelp reviews, I thought this place was going to be delicious. I came here with my co-workers because it is fairly close to our work and we were craving pho. The interior was really nice and clean so I was very happy with the ambiance. We ordered our food and when I took my first bite after putting the sauces and what-nots in it, I was extremely disappointed. The broth was bland and oily. I definitely had better tasting pho. After being disappointed with the pho, I thought maybe the spring rolls would make up for the lack of taste, but I was again, disappointed.
Overall, lunch was dissatisfying for me that day.
Review from Ashley M.
- 5 friends
- 6 reviews
I usually pass right by this place when I am going to either the 99 cent store, Thai Rama, or Quickly. My friend visited earlier this week and so I thought I would drop by and give the place a try finally.
When I came in, I was seated immediately. After ordering, I ended up chatting with the two men who play music on Fridays apparently, but had been called in to play love songs for Valentines Day. I got my Thai Tea fairly quickly after ordering, and got a look around the place. The interior decorating is very nice and clean, and despite being relatively small the overall ambiance inside was very nice.
The Thai Tea was okay. When I got it I stirred it up and took a sip to see how it was. I had read several of the comments about how it was really watered down so I was expecting the worst. I was surprised to find that it was actually okay flavor wise, but did notice as more time passed, it did become pretty watered down to the point where I could barely taste the flavor of the Thai Tea.
Entree wise, I ordered the BBQ Beef with the garlic butter rice. The serving size was quite generous and the food itself came to me quickly, or rather what I felt was quickly. I came alone and was in no real rush since I had come after my last class for the day and had no outstanding plans for the rest of the evening. The presentation of the food itself was nice, and the meat proved to be tasty. I ended up eating all of the meat and having a bit of the garlic butter rice leftover since I was too full to finish it. The two band guys were pushing the idea of the banana and nutella crepe, but at this point I was just too full to even consider dessert.
After I was done, I moved my plate to the side of the table so it would be more easily seen by the waiters or other employees that may pass by. My only real complaint is that I ended up waiting about 5 – 10 minutes for my plate to be picked up, and I understand that by then the restaurant was also much busier than it had been when I had walked in, but by the time they came by and picked it up I had taken out my sketchbook to pass the time.
Overall I really like this place so far. Perhaps next time I come I will actually try their Pho or other dishes.
8/19/2010 * * * * *
When I saw that Olivia’s Bistro was opening up a second location in Fullerton, I was thrilled. Honestly, I had never been to the location on Imperial and Euclid, but I had read stellar reviews on Yelp, and was excited to dine at their new digs. 🙂 My boyfriend and I drove past this plaza three or four times during the month of July / early August, hoping to find that the place had opened up. We finally got our wish this week! Right now, as a grand opening special, they are offering 20% off all entrees (dine-in only).
As an appetizer, we ordered their egg rolls, which were super tasty. You’ll notice that Pho Olivia doesn’t skimp on the good stuff; these things were positively crammed FULL of meat, and came with a dipping sauce that was to die for! After we were done shoveling these delectable little rolls into our faces, the pho arrived. *cue harps and angels singing* We were VERY impressed by their pho. Right away, we noticed the broth was very dark. Dark = flavor! Then, as if that weren’t awesome enough, we finally laid eyes on the meat. My God, it ACTUALLY LOOKED like MEAT! Most of the pho places I’ve been to seem to have thin, ghoulishly-gray colored meat that’s either way too fatty or way too tough, and questionable at best. Not Pho Olivia! Their meat was tender, juicy, and best of all, there was tons of it! They had the perfect ratio of meat, noodles, green onions, and even a floret or two or fresh broccoli!
The pho here was about $1 more than many of the places I’ve been, but the broth and quality of the meat MORE than make up for it. Hell, I’d pay the extra buck just for the sheer ambiance of this place. All new furnishings, dark wood floors, comfortable and stylish booths, gorgeous artwork, and actual porcelain soup spoons instead of those cheapy plastic ones. It’s just an overall “pho experience” that can’t be missed! Olivia herself even came up to our table to chat, ask our opinion on the food, and find out a little bit about us. Will definitely be back!
5/24/2010 1 Check-in Here
I lost count how many times I came here. Usually I get either Com Thit Nuong or Cha Gio and bf only gets Pho Tai. It’s our comfort food (even though we’re not Vietnamese) and Olivia’s is our refuge, our go to place.
Last time we were here, we took bf’s parents who tried Vietnamese food for the first time and they LOVED it.
Laguna Beach, CA
4/12/2010 6 photos
The following restaurant traits usually must occur in order to get pretty good pho:
(A) Be located in Little Saigon,
(B) Have a questionable ambiance,
(C) Never accept credit cards,
(D) Provide bad service best characterized as “Vietnamese Abuse”.
But, believe it or not, Olivia’s Bistro actually serves some pretty good pho despite not having any of those traits.
Other reviewers were correct to describe the broth as lacking the intensity you would usually find in Little Saigon, but overall the soup is a great balance of flavors and value.
For the amount we paid (a hair above $7 for a large sized bowl), we received plenty of flavor, good quality meats and just the right amount of soup.
The Garlic Butter Chicken Wings were crispy and flavorful, but almost *pathetic* compared to Kyochon. Sorry to make the comparison, but once you’ve had the Korean eatery’s version, everything else seems to pale in comparison.
Since we mentioned that we found the establishment through Yelp, management gave us complimentary tapioca pudding, which was served warm. Nothing special, but a nice touch nonetheless.
No don’t make a special detour from Westminster to try the food here, but do pass by if you’re in the area and are in need of some pretty well made pho.
Though my review is for Olivia’s Bistro, the restaurant, I should preface it by letting you all know that I have the pleasure of calling Olivia herself a personal friend. And yes, maybe this makes me a little bit biased, but it also means I’m privy to the story behind the incredible woman and her wonderful food – lucky me!
Olivia is, without a doubt, one of the sweetest and most humble women I’ve ever met. Having been incredibly successful in her former career (you all have NO idea), Olivia has the luxury of doing absolutely nothing, yet she spends most of her weekdays scurrying around the Bistro, serving bowls of lovingly cooked pho with the best and healthiest ingredients she can find. She cooks because she loves to, not because she has to, which makes all the difference, in my opinion.
The last time I had Olivia’s pho was in her home, where she had carefully brewed the soup for two days and then prepared everything using only premium ingredients. It was delicious, nurturing, and healthy, and it was done EXACTLY the way she prepares the pho in her restaurant, every single day. (For the record, Olivia’s pho is meant to be tasted without bean sprouts, without lemon, without hot sauce or hoisin sauce – though all are provided as a courtesy to those of us who don’t recognize pho without the needless trimmings.)
So when you visit Olivia’s Bistro, understand that you might not be getting a bowl of grubby, street-vendor style pho, loaded with headache-inducing MSG, sriracha, and fish sauce. What you WILL get, however, is pho cooked with the utmost attention, made with the best ingredients, and served with pride you can taste.
P.S. The Garlic Chicken Wings are a must try!