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The pho beef tacos at Xoia Vietnamese should be named phacos!

July 5, 2010 |  2:35 pm

XoiaOn a recent Wednesday night in Echo Park, sun-glazed party people smoked American Spirits outside of El Prado while an herbal-cloud crowd gathered for Dub Club at the Echoplex. Families with small children holding soccer balls strolled toward the park and a street vendor pushed a shopping cart full of boiled corn past gangly twentysomethings skulking in and out of Origami Vinyl, heading to Two Boots for a slice of Earth Mother pizza or down the street to Mooi for a chilly scoop of raw-vegan ice cream.

New to this local scene is a restaurant called Xoia Vietnamese Eats. Owned by husband and wife Jose Sarinana (who is Mexican) and Thien Ho (who is Vietnamese), Xoia comes at the right moment to perfectly embody the swiftly changing face of a neighborhood that is for the moment balanced in a mixed and vibrant spot between its working-class ethnic past and a gentrified future.

Xoia is in the old Par paint space across from Masa. It has a crisp, deeply urban feel not yet found in the neighborhood's other restaurants. That may be because its large, enclosed, sidewalk-facing patio caters to the pedestrian culture that has sprung up along that stretch of Sunset in response to its increasingly popular bars, restaurants and shops. Read more about Xoia, and its pho tacos, here:

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo credit: Iris Estes, 4, enjoys her noodles at Xoia, a new Vietnamese restaurant in Echo Park. (Glenn Koenig, Los Angeles Times