Well, I guess I should finish up my (insert restaurant name here) post. After previous visit, it became very clear that Pho was "King" only in name at this restaurant. Rather, it seemed that Hu Tieu ruled, and Pho was just a figurehead, if you will.
The Missus was anxious to try out some of the other items on the menu, so we returned. Andy, the young man who served us remembered us(I'll tell that story later), and provided the same friendly service.
On this visit we started with the Cha Gio Hoa Tien(whole shrimp and pork eggrolls - $5.95):
Four egg rolls with a whole shrimp and well flavored ground pork along with some very fresh greens(lettuce and mint). The Nuoc Mam Cham was very well flavored, just sweet enough, with a nice salty-fish sauce flavor, and not watered down in the least. Though we prefer our Cha Gio made with rice paper which provides a nice light crunch, these were pretty good.
I ordered a rice dish, the Com Thit Nuong, Tom Nuong, Tau Hu Ky(Grilled pork, grilled shrimp, shrimp paste, with Jasmine Rice - $6.45) sheesh, what a mouthful.
We both thought the presentation was fairly well done. Didn't look to be a lot of food, but I sure was full after finishing it off. The two tiny grilled shrimp were pretty much an after-thought, and though served de-veined(sometimes a rarety in Vietnamese restaurants), it was a bit over cooked and on the tough side. The grilled pork, had been nearly sliced into strips, that were still attached at one end, I'm guessing to accommodate quick cooking and making it easy to separate. First off, the meat had a "cured" texture, very firm and chewy. Surprisingly, the flavor was very mild, and was brought to life with the provided Nuoc Mam Cham.
The fried bean curd wrapped shrimp paste was another story.
I'm not sure if I'd order a Com Dia(Rice) plate again, but that Shrimp Cake sure was good.
The Missus, still fascinated by the Hu Tieu, ordered the Hu Tieu My Tho Kho (Rice Noodle with soup on the side - $5.95):
This had everything but the kitchen sink in it...lets see, in the bowl was shrimp(okay), fish ball(ditto), squid(I ate that, it was ehhh), BBQ Pork (never had a shot at it...must've been pretty good), liver, intestine, and heart(hmmm). The dish came with a nice bowl of broth that was even more mild than on the previous visit.
What the Missus really enjoyed was this:
This was a fairly rich bowl of broth flavored with tomato, garlic, and ground pork. As you can see the oil content was fairly high...the flavor was similar to a tomato-meat sauce for pasta. The Missus dumped the entire bowl, along with a good amount of fragrant Chinese Celery, and dug in.....She was in fine slurping form.
The Missus informed me that the noodles were a perfect al dente, and kept that texture for the entire meal.......
So for us, Pho King is not about the Pho, in fact we'll just stick with the Hu Tieu here. The young Guys working the place are very nice, they seem quiet at first, but were cracking jokes by the time we were leaving.
My previous post can be found here.
Pho King Restaurant
4658 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115
Another reason why the Missus likes to eat here.
During the end of the meal, Andy came by. And as we chatted, we come to find out that he thinks the Missus looks just like a local television personality. Who, I couldn't figure out( Michael Turko??? he-he-he). Boy, was the Missus smiling from ear to ear.....and Her head expanded sooooo much She had problems getting into the car! And yet She always says flattery will get me no where........