Pho Aroma: Veteran restaurateurs behind new Delridge operation

(Since the banner outside this in-the-works restaurant on Delridge originally promised a spring opening, now that it’s summer, some have asked us if we know what’s going on. So we found the owners and got the story.)

Story and photo by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Though the only aroma currently coming from this storefront is that of paint and varnish, the owners of this new restaurant located next door to Olympia Pizza on Delridge Way promise that in a couple of weeks, the smells of spiced meat, banh mi sandwiches and pho will be enticing customers to visit.

Owners Melinda Nguyen and Scott Dang, who have owned other restaurants including Lemongrass near Seattle University (which they sold in 2002), moved to West Seattle recently and decided they needed to open another restaurant.

Melinda’s family has been in the restaurant business since 1988, and she missed it: “You meet new people every day.”

Scott adds that Melinda is known for remembering people’s names and their drinks and that, like their other restaurants, this one will be very customer-service-oriented: “You can spend $15 for two people, but have great atmosphere and four-star service.”

Melinda and Scott are both chefs and they plan to keep the menu traditional. Scott says: “Our clientele typically wants traditional Vietnamese food — not watered down or Americanized. We’ll keep ours authentic.”

Learning about their clientele’s tastes will be the focus of their first month, when they’ll offer a “soft menu” of dishes and adjust accordingly to customers’ tastes and requests. Another focus will be letting customers know the ingredients in the dishes in order to let people with food allergies make informed choices. Melinda says: “The egg rolls won’t come with peanut sauce. They’ll come with peanuts, but those can be left off.”

They add that running a restaurant “(is) our passion — we love to cook and serve.”

If construction goes according to plan, they’re hoping to open around July 22nd. To start, hours will be 9-9 every day, serving lunch and dinner.

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21 Replies to "Pho Aroma: Veteran restaurateurs behind new Delridge operation"

  • villagegreen July 12, 2010 (12:04 pm)

    Sweet! Lemongrass by SU is awesome! Should be amazing and a great addition to the Delridge neighborhood.

  • HelperMonkey July 12, 2010 (12:46 pm)

    hopefully won’t be full of MSG, like Than Bros. hey new owners, some of us out here can’t eat MSG – please make a few offerings without!

  • dsa July 12, 2010 (1:28 pm)

    Sounds great, will stop in the last of this month.

  • dsa July 12, 2010 (1:48 pm)

    I hope Melinda or Scott respond to the question about MSG and it’s look-a-like similar products. Some of us have very serious reactions to them.

  • 4thGenWestSide July 12, 2010 (2:03 pm)

    Pho Aroma. Interesting name.

    Oooooh that smell. Can’t you smell that smell…..

  • aimee July 12, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    Really looking forward to this. I drive by every day hoping it will open soon! Thanks for the update!!

  • strange_owl July 12, 2010 (4:53 pm)

    i really hope will bun be on the menu along with pho & banh mi – i love those vermacelli noodle bowls!

  • Seattle July 12, 2010 (7:45 pm)

    I am so excited that a new vietnamese restaurant is opening! However, I just hope it’s good. We live in the mecca of Vietnamese/Pho restaurants (near white center), and they have all been disappointing. Poor ingredients, greasy, or just not really care what customers want. I’ll be sure to try Pho Aroma when they open!

  • I just gotta jump in here July 12, 2010 (7:47 pm)

    Please offer vegetarian versions on your menu. I am still attempting to find bahn xeo in Seattle like I had in (southern) Viet Nam – made with tofu and vegetables, crispy rather than greasy – and without the MSG! Looking forward to your opening.

  • Sue July 12, 2010 (8:18 pm)

    I love that they are conscious of allergies and disclosing ingredients. If you have vegetarian options, I’ll definitely come by to try it out.

  • HelperMonkey July 12, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    @ gotta jump – have you tried the tofu Pho at 88 deli in White Center? amazing. and no MSG.

  • l love pho July 12, 2010 (8:52 pm)

    Vegetarian Pho does not exist! Pho is a beef-based dish! If you are having a vegetarian dish that is called pho, it’s likely something else. :-)

    I also hope they have bun. I love those rice noodle dishes too.

  • Seaviewer July 12, 2010 (9:33 pm)

    I’ll third the bun request. I’m obsessed with bun thit nuong (noodle with pork) and you simply can’t get it in West Seattle at all.

    You have to travel down to White Center or hit SODO.

    If I can get a nice bun thit nuong on Delridge, Pho Aroma will have a customer in me.

  • Farmerbetsy July 14, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    seconding the request for actual vegetarian Pho. Pho My Lai makes vegetarian broth, as does Cyclo Pho. If those are beef broth, I’d be very surprised! And if that makes it not-Pho, I’m fine with that. Welcome to the neighborhood, looking forward to it!

  • Melinda Nguyen July 15, 2010 (2:42 pm)

    Hello everybody, thanks for your comments! There are some delays on construction but we’re hoping to open by the end of the month. Your comments are helpful and are very much appreciated. We will let you know when we have a definite day opening. –Pho Aroma Family.

  • Joel July 16, 2010 (3:34 pm)

    I figured, just for the sake of demand, I’d ad myself and my wife to the list of vegetarian hopefuls:) I can hardly wait to have you guys in the neighborhood!

  • Amber August 5, 2010 (12:57 pm)

    My husband and I are so very much looking forward to this! We are so glad that another restaurant is coming to Delridge.

  • Weattlite August 14, 2010 (9:13 pm)

    Lemongrass near SU is my all time favorite restaurants in Seattle for a tasty Vietnamese meal! SO excited!

  • Molly August 15, 2010 (11:39 am)

    Wonderful! We are excited to have the people behind Lemongrass opening a restaurant on delridge.
    Hopefully this (plus Olympia Pizza, Pearls, etc) is the start of a blossoming Delridge corridor.

  • Melinda Nguyen August 20, 2010 (11:10 am)

    Thank you everyone for the patience! We are happy to inform you that we are now officially open for business!

  • Carson August 20, 2010 (1:12 pm)

    Does Pho Aroma serve beer or wine?

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