Liem Ma, whose family owns Pho & Cafe Viet Huong at 11th Street and Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia, looked east and realized that Pennsport could use a Vietnamese bar-restaurant.
And so last week, he opened the stylish Mekong River (1120 S. Front St., 215-467-6100) down the street from the Ugly American. It’s done up in wood and ceramic, with fieldstone, reminiscent of Pho Hoa’s neighbor, Le Viet.
Mekong River’s extensive menu starts at No. 101 and ends at 273, including your regulation rice vermicelli selections and a dozen phos. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.
Lansdowne Borough is awakening as a destination. At the corner of Lansdowne and Baltimore Avenues, Argana Moroccan Cuisine (2 N. Lansdowne Ave., 484-461-9595) was opened recently by Zouhir Oullaf and Chris Arouh, who longed for the tastes of their homeland. Decor is a spiffed-up version of previous occupant Lansdowne Diner; menu hits the high points and nothing is over $12.95; it’s BYOB. It’s open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (till 11 on Friday and Saturday).