The House of An, which heads a long-established restaurant dynasty in California, including Crustacean in San Francisco and Beverly Hills along with AnQi at South Coast Plaza in Orange County, auctioned off “the world’s most expensive pho” recently for $5,800.
Using some of the world’s most costly and rare ingredients, this sky-high soup was bought as an auction item at LA’s The Bash, a fundraiser held in May at Exlr Lounge. While the starting price for the Vietnamese-style signature soup was $5,000, the Santa Barbara-based anonymous bidder won the auction at a donation of $5,800. (Net proceeds of $176,000 from The Bash went directly to benefit the Teen Impact and Dialysis Center of Children’s Hospital).
House of An’s Master Chef Helene “Mama” An, along with Chef de Cuisine Ryan Carson from AnQi at South Coast Plaza, collaborated on the masterpiece of a Vietnamese staple, made with the world’s most expensive and rare ingredients, including:
· $300 per lb. blue lobster: Chef Ryan Carson uses a molecular gastronomy technique to create rice noodles from the rare blue lobsters (only one out of 2.5 million lobsters are blue)
· $80 per lb. A5 Wagyu beef: Replaces the traditional sirloin or brisket the highest grade of Wagyu
· $2,000 per lb. white Alba truffles: to garnish. These rare truffles are only available during the months of November and December
· $105 per lb. Spanish Iberico ham: poached for the broth
· $35 per lb. foie gras: placed atop the soup
Other prized ingredients in the soup include a garnish of 24 carat edible gold leaf; costly fresh porcini mushrooms as available, as well as bean sprouts and Thai basil grown in the garden of the An family’s Tiato Market Garden Cafe in Santa Monica. The pho is served in an imported Royal Copenhagen porcelain bowl of the Blue Fluted pattern which goes back to 1775.
Two years ago, CEO Elizabeth An’s teenage daughter, Bosilika An, and friends decided to raise funds to help sick teens in the Teen Dialysis Center at Children’s Hospitals of LA and OC . For the event last month, the girls and mother Elizabeth An hatched the most-expensive-pho-in-the-world concept for The Bash fundraiser as part of a live auction.
The An family would like to keep the donations coming, so the $5,000 pho may be ordered at AnQi at South Coast Plaza , with seven days in advance notice, depending on availability of ingredients. All proceeds from guests purchasing the World’s Most Expensive Pho will benefit Children’s Hospitals in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco.
The An family’s umbrella company, The House of An, owns and operates six restaurants and a catering business in California including Crustacean Beverly Hills; AnQi by Crustacean in Costa Mesa; An Catering, Tiato Market Garden Cafe in Santa Monica; in San Francisco, the original Crustacean and where it all started in 1971, Thanh Long. The An Family Foundation is the charitable organization of The House of An.
Posted: Suzanna 6/29