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Pho Maxia in Westbury: First bites

Pho special,with beef filet, beef shank, beef ball

Pho special,with beef filet, beef shank, beef ball and rice noodles, at Pho Maxia in Westbury in May, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick

The new Pho Maxia in Westbury, tucked into a strip mall, is a neat little Vietnamese restaurant, one of only two on Long Island. Brothers Hoa Kevin Du and executive chef David Yu had previously owned the restaurant's Bethpage predecessor, Maxia, which had a brief but glorious run back in the late 1990s.

At Pho Maxia, a recent lunch began with shrimp summer rolls ($4.95), light, simple and refreshing. A bowl of the restaurant’s special pho ($9.75) was a substantial meal in itself. The savory broth held tender, thinly sliced beef filet and beef shank, along with the characteristically spongy meatballs whose texture may not appeal to Western tastes. On the side: bean sprouts and basil leaves. My companion’s banh mi sandwich ($6) made with grilled pork hash, or patties, was exceptionally satisfying, the rich meat playing well against the bright pickled carrot, cucumber, cilantro and lettuce.

For now, the policy is cash only.

Pho Maxia is at 817 Carman Ave., Westbury, 516-414-1738, phomaxia.com

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