Broth Star

The soup is the main event at Phorage in Palms

Roy Choi is a tough act to follow.

So how do you replace his popular rice-bowl shop, Chego, which moved to Chinatown earlier this year?

Chef Perry Cheung is betting on a big bowl of pho. Taking over Chego's quaint strip-mall location is Cheung's new Phorage, a starkly modern Vietnamese restaurant where, instead of employing offbeat fusion, he's elevating classic dishes with the use of high-quality ingredients.

Nowhere does this simplicity shine through better than in Cheung's deeply-spiced, rare steak and brisket pho ($10), a delicate concoction filled with soft rice noodles. The broth alone requires a full day of preparation. Other dishes, such as the cold noodle bun ($9), tamarind-chicken broken rice ($10), and fish-sauce-splashed banh xeo crêpe ($8), highlight the bright, clean flavors of Vietnamese cooking without overcomplication.

Perry was previously a sous chef at San Francisco's The Slanted Door, and there's a surprising amount of menu overlap between the two restaurants, such as the subtly addictive plates of sweet, caramelized shrimp sautéed with onion and chive ($11), and crispy imperial egg rolls ($7) stuffed with ground shrimp and pork shoulder.

In many Vietnamese kitchens, a work-intensive pho broth is often seen as barometer of a chef's skill. For Cheung, it's just the beginning.