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How Much Pho Can You Eat in 30 Minutes?

Imagine four large servings of this crawfish pho in one bowl...with ghost peppers.
Imagine four large servings of this crawfish pho in one bowl...with ghost peppers.
Photos by Troy Fields

Rather, how much crawfish-and-andouille-sausage pho with ghost peppers and other spicy additions can you eat in 30 minutes?

That's the challenge posed by LA Crawfish, the subject of this week's cafe review and home of LA Crawfish Challenge. According to one of the managers I spoke with last week, no one has finished the challenge to date, and I'm not surprised.

The challenge takes LA Crawfish's signature crawfish pho and spices it up to nearly intolerable heat levels -- I could only stand one bite and my lips were left with a pleasant albeit toasty burn all night long. It's served in a stainless steel mixing bowl that's roughly 24 inches in diameter. You have only 30 minutes to finish every last drop. And you get no help.

Beat the challenge and you'll get a commemorative T-shirt, good for 10 percent off all future visits to LA Crawfish.
Beat the challenge and you'll get a commemorative T-shirt, good for 10 percent off all future visits to LA Crawfish.

"No help" doesn't just mean you can't have someone tackle the bowl with you. It means you can't put water or ice in the pho to cool it off, either. And a manager will monitor your progress the entire time to make sure you aren't cheating.

The cost of entry is $21, which you get back if you finish the bowl. You also get a photo on the wall and a T-shirt good for 10 percent off all LA Crawfish orders for life. But don't count on that discount; I very seriously doubt this is a winnable challenge...for anyone.

Intent on finding out, however, we will be taking the LA Crawfish challenge later this week. You need to call ahead and give the restaurant a few hours' advance notice (or sometimes a few days, depending on how busy it's been), so make sure to plan your own schedule accordingly if you want to take on the challenge for yourselves.

Check back in with us next week to see how we fared in the LA Crawfish Challenge -- and say a little prayer for our digestive systems while you're at it. That's a lot of pho...

How Much Pho Can You Eat in 30 Minutes?
Read more about LA Crawfish in this week's cafe review or see its packed dining room and busy kitchen for yourself in our slideshow.


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