If you are the kind of person who finishes up with your Netflix binge well after midnight with a hankering for pho, then you are going to love Chris Huang’s new endeavor in Braun Enterprises’ Ella Plaza.
Huang, the proprietor of Ninja Ramen on Washington Avenue, will open his second restaurant, Flying Pho in Ella Plaza. It will take the place of the recently vacated bagel shop Toasted. Flying Pho will be open until midnight and will deliver until 2 a.m.
“I wanted to convey our delivery service in a fun way,” said Huang of the name choice for the restaurant.
While Ninja Ramen is inspired by Japanese cuisine, Flying Pho will feature Vietnamese cuisine, which is in turn an amalgamation of French and Chinese food. Huang says the recipes are his and he will do a little of the cooking as well.
“I’m a noodle guy through and through,” said Huang.
Generally, there’s a larger menu at pho restaurants, but Huang is keeping it “super simple” – with pho, egg rolls and pastries. The pho will be a northern style pho, which is different from other restaurants in Houston that serve a southern variety of the noodle soup, made with either chicken or beef.
“The northern style is original and good too,” he said, noting that although pho has been around for more than 20 years in Houston, it has been more mainstream for the last 10 to 15 years.
Beer and wine will be on the menu as well as Vietnamese coffee.
Huang said he has friends in the Garden Oaks area and found the area “very cool – residential but not a suburb” and was looking for a restaurant space when the former Toasted spot became available.
“I feel like the Heights is more and more commercial,” he said. “This [area] is like the Heights 10 years ago.”
Harvey pushed the permitting process for the restaurant back a bit, but Huang hopes to be open by December.
Excitement on social media about the restaurant was immediate.
“They have some real competition with PhoLe on Antoine,” wrote one on the Oak Forest Homeowners Association page. “But the differing hours will be nice. Excited!”
In addition to the late hours, Huang also says he plans to open some days earlier in the morning, at 11 a.m. For those nursing more than the usual morning fuzzies, there will be electrolytes and Excedrin along with the pho.
“For the hangover hour,” he says.