Pho Lang Thang had outgrown its original Findlay Market storefront. That much was obvious. The smallish three-room restaurant—a sit-down dining pioneer in the neighborhood since 2010—was maxed out each lunchtime with hungry market-goers, thanks to pitch-perfect pho, banh mi, and bun salads. It was very crowded, very steamy, and your coat smelled like soup for the rest of the day. But it was worth it: Owners David Le and brothers Bao Nguyen and Duy Nguyen turn out one of the best Vietnamese menus in the city, characterized by their lemongrass grilled pork and chicken and 20-hour broth, made from Ohio-proud Sakura Farms Wagyu beef.
You can’t miss the new location, within stumbling distance of the original and just east of the market on Race Street with a spiffy new painted sign. It’s finally a home worthy of Pho Lang Thang’s inventive take on Vietnamese cuisine: The build-out is spot-on, comparatively huge with a vivid, jewel-toned color scheme, tropical plants aplenty, and a tiki vibe that somehow reads more cool than kitsch. And it’s all in an airy new (and blessedly ventilated) space with a full room-sized bar and a new menu of fruity-fun cocktails. The upgrade also takes advantage of amped-up foot traffic in the blocks surrounding Findlay Market by adding a dedicated carryout entrance (mang vê) to keep things moving at peak hours. Now you just have to learn to walk and slurp pho at the same time.
Pho Lang Thang, 1828 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 376-9177