Sweet chicken broth, served with a plate of bean sprouts, cilantro instead of Thai basil (which works for me since I LOVE cilantro), a wedge of lime, and a plate of grilled boneless chicken thighs… this is bliss.
While the noodles are different from other pho places – notably from Turtle Tower, my favorite pho ga/chicken pho place – the overall bowl of chicken pho is phenomenal. I find it hard to stray from ordering this – I just absolutely adore the broth with a squeeze of lime… and sometimes I add hot sauce to change things up, but the base is always the same.
It doesn’t hurt that the bowl comes with a separate plate of grilled chicken that is grilled to perfection; juicy boneless thighs that are flavorful and delicious. (Though a few times, the chicken’s come a little dry, they generally know how to grill meats here… more on that in a minute)
In fact, I’ve been coming here 2-3x a month with both friends and family, sampling various things on the menu. My personal favorite after the chicken pho is the beef satay, which I’ve had enough times to say that most of the time, it comes perfectly grilled, juicy, tender, and just awesome with their peanut sauce. I’m not the biggest fan of their spring OR summer rolls, but either are sufficiently tasty and shareable.
My family, however, has taken a real shine to their salt & pepper squid pictured above on the right, which comes tender and easy to bite through, with lots of fresh jalapenos, topped with a scattering of fried shallots. The last time we went, my brother informed us that the sauteed clam dish was also a winner, and ordered it – $15 for the above dish (which had a small handful of clams removed already). They’re sauteed with a minced pork and chili pepper flake sauce that’s deeply flavored, umami, and salty – yes, very salty, with a slight burn of heat. I thoroughly enjoyed fishing through the shells for plump, juicy clams, and then ladling the sauce onto my pho noodles to finish. Yeah I did that… I would have been happy with a bowl of rice to do so as well!
I post pictures to my Instagram frequently when I go there, which is probably why I didn’t realize I never really fully expounded on the virtues of this place. I really enjoy eating here, and I’m there a little less than once a week… you should definitely check it out, there are plenty of things on the menu for anyone. I’ve also enjoyed their bun (rice vermicelli salad noodle bowls that are great in hot weather!), and I see other people ordering things I’ve never even thought to try there!
The menu is quite large and does encompass both Thai and Vietnamese food, though I mostly stick to the Vietnamese stuff… even though it’s owned by a Cantonese family.
And sadly, they no longer offer soup dumplings, which they were doing for a good six months there.
What are you waiting for?!