New Vietnamese restaurant opens in Haruko's space
By REPORTER STAFF
Mercer Island Reporter Staff
September 5, 2012 · Updated 3:01 PM
A new restaurant serving Vietnamese cuisine has opened in Haruko's old space next to Rite Aid. Phobulous, owned by Carolyn and Andy Nguyen, opened to the public at the end of August.
The Nguyens, residents of Kent, have been in the food business for 15 years. They previously owned Phuong Vi Deli, which they recently sold, in Kent. The couple is from Vietnam.
Phobulous serves 100 percent authentic Vietnamese fare, Carolyn Nguyen said, from wok and stir-fry to veal, chop soy, sandwiches and bubble tea. A family friend encouraged the Nguyens to start a restaurant on the Island. And it is more than just pho, though Andy Nguyen is the second-generation Vietnamese in his family "to carry on the Vietnamese pho tradition," Carolyn said.
The Nguyens' two daughters, Vivian and Julia — both students — are also involved in the business, helping with interior design and bringing a creative touch to other areas, including the menu.
Haruko's Japanese restaurant was in business for 23 years before closing in May of 2012.
Phobulous is located at 3033 78th Avenue S.E. and can be contacted at (206) 232-0828. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. I Luv Pho, in the Town Center, also offers Vietnamese cuisine.
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