Arts restaurant review

Pho real, you’ve gotta go to Le’s

Tasty Vietnamese food in Harvard Square

Le’s Restaurant

35 Dunster Street, Cambridge

Sunday – Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 10 p.m., Thursday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 11 p.m.

You’ll find Le’s Vietnamese Restaurant inside The Garage in Harvard Square, and if you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth checking out. The atmosphere is very peaceful; the walls are warm colors, and paper lantern-like lighting hangs overhead. There is an extensive menu of Vietnamese dishes, but I have to say, if you go, you should try the pho.

When I went to Le’s, I ordered a bowl of chicken pho, crispy spring rolls, and a green tea bubble tea. Everything was excellent — the spring rolls were deliciously fried and served with a sweet naco cham (mixed fish and lime) sauce and shredded carrot. The green tea bubble tea was more like a green tea smoothie with boba, which did a great job of cooling my mouth after a spoonful of the spicy soup.

Imagine a huge steaming bowl of chicken soup filled with rice noodles, onions, scallions, and cilantro, served with a platter of bean sprouts, basil leaves, and limes that you can add to your soup. Personally, I am a fan of dumping all the basil and bean sprouts in for the occasional burst of basil flavor or crunch of bean sprouts. You can choose to flavor your soup with any combination of the three sauces on the table: spicy Sriracha sauce, or for even more spice there’s spicy chili garlic sauce, or for a sweeter option, plum sauce. When you are done customizing your soup to your liking, the colors and smell of the pho will drive any foodie wild. Although there are also beef and seafood varieties of pho, there are sadly no suitable vegetarian/vegan options, but plenty of other dishes on the menu are vegetarian/vegan, so there’s something for everyone.

Le’s is a great place for lunch or dinner with a group of friends. Prices are pretty reasonable, especially for the amount of food you get — the biggest (like “you may not be able to finish it” big) pho is less than nine dollars. Most other entrees range from eight to twelve dollars, and again the portions are huge. So now with the cold days and months ahead, when you feel like you could really do with a steamy and filing bowl of pho, you know where to go.