Khai Hoan We're going to say it: we're sick of hearing about Pho Thanh. That doesn't mean we don't love it there, but maybe it's time to broaden your pho horizons and stop into Khai Hoan. Located right near Haji Baba in Tempe, the Vietnamese joint offers everything from the staples to Americanized Chinese fare for sissy diners. If you take anything away from this, please let it be that you should get the veggie pho at Khai Hoan and add the thinly sliced rare beef to it that typically comes in pho tai. It's everything you love about pho tai with way more veggies and fried tofu. And if you should spice your pho up too much, the servers will be standing by, ready to crack open a fresh coconut to cool you off.
Desert Jade Until recently the Asian decor had hints of a former German restaurant, and even now there's nothing fancy about the place or the menu, but if you want a solid, classic Chinese restaurant (hold the frills and the fusion), Desert Jade is for you. Good luck finding a parking spot -- or a table -- on most weeknights, as this place is an Arcadia neighborhood favorite. From the egg drop soup to the fried rice to the moo shu pork, you can't go wrong. Best of all, the kind servers have no problem customizing your order to suit your desires and will remember it the next time you come in, even if it's been three months and your tastes run toward steamed chicken and eggplant. On your birthday they'll bring extra fortune cookies and even toss in some of those pre-wrapped almond cookies -- and a candle.