Carson’s only Vietnamese restaurant readies to open doors
Appeal Staff Writer
About 25 years after fleeing communist-controlled Vietnam by boat, Richard Tran is living the American Dream. He is a business owner in Reno and is opening his second restaurant in Carson City – the area’s only Vietnamese-themed restaurant.
Viet Pho is expected to open in September following a renovation, Tran said. He’s the major shareholder in the Viet Pho Corp., which is based in Reno.
“The majority of the menu is Vietnamese, between Chinese and Thai food,” he said Wednesday. “The difference is that Chinese food more people recognize as very greasy. We cook healthy food with a little bit or no oil. The taste is very delicious and we have very good soup.”
The Vietnamese soup is called pho, a rice noodle soup. The cuisine also uses a lot of vegetables. The one thing it doesn’t traditionally have is the spicy flavor common with Thai food. That can be added at the customer’s request, Tran said.
The restaurant, located at the old East Ocean Chinese restaurant at 1214 N. Carson St., will be redecorated in a Vietnamese theme. Tran also owns the Viet Pho restaurant in Reno. He believes a Carson City restaurant was needed because of the success of his Reno restaurant. His other partners are his wife, Lillian Tran, Viet Dao and Jason Liu.
“Why I decided to open the one in Carson City is that we also have a lot of customers who come from Tahoe, Carson City and Dayton. They travel to Reno to eat my food.”
Tran had a long journey to get to Northern Nevada. He left Vietnam as one of the “boat people” fleeing communist power in 1980.
His boat was saved by a Thai ship and taken to political refuge in France, where he learned the language and lived for 20 years. At that time political refugees didn’t have the right to choose their country, he said. Tran works in the U.S. under a green card.
“I’m so very happy to live in the U.S. It’s the country of opportunity. I can do a lot of things in the U.S. just after six years that I couldn’t do in France after 20 years.”
Viet Pho will open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.