If you’re a frequent reader of Milwaukee Record, you’re surely a mature and well-adjusted member of society who wouldn’t lower yourself to acknowledge something as base and childish as wordplay. With that in mind, it might shock you to learn that a Milwaukee- and West Allis-based Vietnamese restaurant called “Phở King” existed (in two locations) for years, and that when the business’ two-word name is correctly pronounced, it sounds like the word “Fucking.” My sensibilities! [Faints]

[Comes to, regains composure] Earlier this year, we included Phở King on our rundown of Milwaukee’s 15 best bar and restaurant puns. The list wasn’t ranked, but the self-proclaimed king of the savory noodle soup was far and away the best pun of the bunch. Sadly, the Vietnamese restaurant’s reign as Milwaukee’s best-named business is over. Occasional Milwaukee Record contributor and Body Futures drummer DJ Hostettler recently tipped us to the unfortunate news that Phở King is now known as Phở Cali.

We investigated this further by heading to the 11112 W. National Avenue location yesterday. Our greatest fears were confirmed, as pristine “Cali” lettering was now affixed to the edifice where “King” once was. We ventured inside, past new Phở Cali tapestries showing President Obama crushing a bánh mì with Anthony Bourdain.

PhoCaliObama

Inside, we spoke to some employees, who told us the name change was the byproduct of new ownership. That location and the 27th Street site both underwent the (phonetically) family-friendly rebrand about two months ago. Along with the new name also came some new menu items. Even if the Phở Kingdom has crumbled, some things haven’t changed. We’re proud to report the Bánh Mì Gà Nướng ($4.95) at Phở King—sorry, Phở Cali—remains outstanding. Still, our inner 12-year-old can’t help but weep for the loss of a fucking great business name. The throne now belongs to you, D.I.X. Don’t mess this up.

PhoCaliBanhMi