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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

A warm bowl of comfort

A blend of pho and boba is here in Millard
Eddie Shi
The restaurant serves boba tea as a contrasting item to wash the hearty meal. The variety of drinks and shakes serves to be an addition to the fresh green meal, a sweet taste that enhances the experience. I had the shrimp summer rolls as the appetizer which was 4 rolls for only $7.00 and the combination pho for $16.00 as the main course. I also ordered the Thai tea which was $6.00 which puts the whole meal in the picture was $38.00 with taxes and tips.

When I first entered the restaurant, situated in Welsh Plaza, the place looked clean and decorated. The hanging plants and color scheme are pronounced and stand out from a traditional dine-in restaurant. The second thing I saw was the vast wall of motivational sticky notes placed neatly on the right wall when walking in. The environment is very inviting. As they let me find a seat, a glass of cucumber water was already served when I sat down. And as I saw the menus I knew I was in for a treat.

After I had time to consider my options, the waiter came by to see if I had any questions, setting the stage for a wonderful dining experience. I asked the waiter what was the best item to try and he replied with the combination pho. After ordering a combination pho and gyozas for appetizers, I had time to look at the wall of notes.

The sticky note wall is an endearing feature that truly sets it apart, creating a tapestry of customer interactions that is both personal and communal. It’s a colorful mosaic, each noting a snippet of someone’s day or a burst of creativity that they’ve left behind. Whether it’s a quick doodle, an inside joke or an uplifting message for future diners, the wall represents a living, evolving storybook of the community that dines here. However, before I got done reading through a lot of the notes, the food was served.

The gyoza, a scrumptious appetizer we chose, surprised us with its generous size and was perfectly complemented by a savory dipping sauce, elevating the flavors to new heights. I also considered the crab rangoons, but I didn’t want to be full of only appetizers. The gyoza’s were made with care and are truly a bargain for the price.

When the pho came out, it was huge, they gave us another plate that comes along with vegetables, lime and jalapeños so you can really add how much you want to the pho. The broth, simmered for hours to achieve its rich and aromatic flavor, is the perfect foundation for high-quality, tender meats and fresh, crisp vegetables. The noodles, always perfectly cooked, complement the broth and toppings beautifully, creating a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. The flavors were so fresh that I thought they grew the plants from the back of the restaurant.

Afterward, I ordered Thai with strawberry Boba, and they brought it in a really cute cup that can be kept as a souvenir. I never had boba before, so this was a good time for me to try. After the quick service, I got to try what was a sweet and interesting flavor. It’s not something you can get from somewhere like Starbucks or Scooters. It’s not a coffee, but there are caffeinated choices. The best part about drinking from the tea is the little sweet balls in the bottom of the drink.

The menu, though concise, offers an impressive selection of pho that caters to various tastes, from traditional beef pho to more adventurous options like seafood pho. Each pho is meticulously prepared, showcasing the depth and complexity of Vietnamese noodles. Phoba reports that around 80% of their dine-in orders are pho, but that is not all they serve. From fried rice to garden-fresh summer rolls, there are options for anyone. If you’re looking for a lighter meal, I would recommend a green papaya chicken salad for $13.00. If you want to just bite into something, perhaps a $9.00 grilled beef sandwich would be a good pick.

The people operating the business came from various backgrounds. The head chef, trained in Southeastern Asia brought his culture and skills to Omaha to offer an authentic experience. The staff is filled with people with rich backgrounds in Asian food. Phoba, which opened in late January has already become a staple in Millard with hundreds of people writing themselves in the restaurant’s history through little notes. If you’re too busy, there’s online ordering too.

“We want to be different,” the Phoba staff said. “Not many places serve pho here, so we decided to bring Millard a new taste.”

Of all the places I’ve eaten at. I’ve never tasted something so close to home. From the peanut sauce with the summer rolls to the rice and noodles. I couldn’t stop thinking about the next time I would go. I’ve been there three times and am not ready to stop here. The staff is working hard every time I’ve been there. The server, Michael, has always been there. I appreciate them working to provide us with amazing food and service 6 days a week.

Across from Millard West, this cozy eatery presents a warm and inviting ambiance, perfect for chilly days when only a bowl of pho can warm the soul. Its charming atmosphere, exceptional service, and, most importantly, its delicious food make it a standout. Whether you’re a pho fanatic or a newcomer to Asian cuisine, Phoba promises a memorable dining experience that will leave you craving more. 5/5

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About the Contributor
Eddie Shi
Eddie Shi, Staff Reporter
Eddie is a senior at Millard West starting his third year on the CATalyst staff. He enjoys analyzing and reviewing new technology. He also enjoys writing reviews for games and albums. Eddie enjoys traveling to many different areas worldwide to experience brand-new cultures. He is the Millard West tennis team captain. Eddie looks forward to writing for the CATalyst newspaper.

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