Man was it cold enough for you last night? Geez, I almost wish we had another mutt, because it surely was a Three Dog Night if I ever felt one.... I know us West Coasters are wimps.......
Way back in June, I noticed one of those coming soon signs in the same strip mall that houses Golden City. As the months past, there never seemed to be any progress as the place seemed frozen in time. In fact, Mignon Pho + Grill started up in August and opened at the end of October. So it was a bit of surprise to see that the place had finally opened.
As I entered, I noticed a certain "look" to the place.....then it clicked, and when I asked the gentleman serving me confirmed that this was owned by the same folks who own Pho Cali in Mission Valley. You know that you've been in too many of these places when you recognize differences in generic decor, sigh.... I always try to reserve judgement, but I couldn't help being a bit disappointed as I really didn't think much of the Pho there.
So I just went ahead and ordered the Dac Biet (Special - $6.59) to just cut my losses, eat and get back to work. The portion size of the garnishes is the same rather skimpy sized portion as the Mission Valley counterpart..... though I can tell you, that after recent experiences, I was rather happy to see some Ngo Gai (rather one leaf) on the plate.
My bowl of Pho arrived......
And I was rather surprised; the broth was fairly clear, the fragrance mildly beefy, little droplets of oil floating on top.... this looked pretty good. The flavor really didn't deliver; it was really salty..... way too salty. The noodles were of course, in the ever present clump on the bottom, but weren't still cold in the center as I've experienced twice at the Mission Valley location.
The rare steak was just as bad as everywhere else....though I've had even worse since (coming up in a future post). The brisket, though perhaps a little too close to disintegrating, was probably the best item.
The tendon is a touch too hard for my tastes, but is still better then many places I've been. Overall, this wasn't too bad.... in fact, I need to revisit the Mission Valley location, just to see, you know.....
This past weekend, FOY (Friend of Yoso) Fred, sent me an email (it's always great to hear from you.... and best wishes to the Missus). Part of the last sentence of his email cracked me up, " it doesn't seem especially different than any other Pho place." I can see where one can think that. I do believe that this place is better than Pho T Cali, though, and the service, set-up, and much of everything else does fit that generic Pho shop look. I think folks will like that the place is new, and thus looks pretty clean.
Pho Cali and Grill
5375 Kearny Villa Rd
San Diego, CA 92123