After three years in business at 1831 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Little Saigon City has closed shop. Although the mom-and-pop Vietnamese restaurant regrettably included sub-par Chinese food on its menu, the unpretentious, home-cooked buns, phos, spring rolls and desserts were quite good, and very well priced. But as high food costs conspire with a low economy, the restaurant industry becomes more than ever a heartless Darwinian arena where only the fittest survive. And the glut of corporate chain restaurants that have moved into Coral Gables won’t help matters.
This coming summer may well spell the demise of many small-timers (and some big-timers, too, including one downtown that will fold shortly). Like the owners of Little Saigon City, the squeezed proprietors will just have to take it on the pho tai chin.