San Diego’s “Phat” FAIL

Let’s just say today’s lunch was rather unique.  My cousin and I finally remembered that we hadn’t tried out the Vietnamese restaurant called Phat in San Diego (Kearny Mesa).  It’s a bit newer, but has been around for a year or so I think.  This used to be the old Luong Hai restaurant back in the day.  Anyhow, I remembered the new place, Phat, was a buffet, so we were inherently excited to explore this new deal for only $9.88!
When we first entered the restaurant, no one was really paying much attention.  A girl finally noticed us and directed us to a booth next to one of the food bars.  To my dismay, I see a smashed roach sitting on the floor just a couple feet away.  Not too appetizing, but I chalk it up to an unfortunate circumstance.  (It did make us wipe our chopsticks and soup soons a little more thoroughly.)

Anyhow, the roach wasn’t gonna get me down!  He was dead after all, and on the floor.  (I did place a napkin over him so I didn’t need to see him lying there).  So, we get up and start checking out the food.  Lots of variety here.  I was impressed!  I haven’t been to a Vietnamese buffet, let alone in San Diego.  I grabbed some lemon grass chicken, some lemon grass beef, and several other assorted rice noodle items.  Looks good huh?  I thought so too.  But look closer.  See that lemon grass beef in the top right of my bowl?  Now click the picture so you can see if larger.  Want to take a guess?

Yup, lemon grass ROACH stir fried right into the beef.  I literally had picked this up and was about to place this into my mouth when I noticed some legs that shouldn’t have been there!!  Great… just what I needed.  Needless to say, my appetite was ruined after this.  So, I placed my newfound friend on a napkin and warned my cousin to not eat the beef!

Before I left though, I tried some Pho and a couple other things anyways… I wasn’t about to pay $10 for nothing… lol.  Of course I scrutinized everything from that point forward.  From there I found a lovely piece of hair and a happy house fly enjoying the dessert buffet with the remainder of the patrons… I was DONE!

The sad thing is that I won’t be coming back here, but the place had really good potential.

Today’s lunch was a big “Phat” FAIL.  Diners beware!

Phat Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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About Michael

I couldn't be luckier to call San Diego my home the past couple decades. America's "Finest City" is bursting with delicious eats in nearly every corner. Whether you want savory or sweet, fancy or rustic, you can have it all! I have the awesome job of uncovering some of these gems, and sharing them with you. When I'm not chowing down, I also write about $$$ at Thanks for stopping by!

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5 Comments on “San Diego’s “Phat” FAIL”

  1. omfg,i'm glad i read this because i was seriously thinking of going there. saw the $2 off coupon in the reader but was also thinking, hmmmm…what's the catch. ironically, my dad had just raved about this place but his standards are much lower than mine.

  2. Yeah, it's too bad. Great concept, poor execution. Glad you didn't have to find any surprises yourself!

    *I just watched a Today show episode last week that did a special segment on food sanitation. They mentioned for every roach seen, there are another several hundred living in the walls and out of sight. Yuck.

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