During part of my usual weekend shopping "mission" my stomach started rumbling. It was just past 8am and my next "targets", namely Nijiya nad Marukai wouldn't be opening for a while. I hadn't been to Pho Hoa Huong in about three years so it was about time for a revisit.
Things seemed a bit different this time around....the young lady placed my menu on the table with a smile....no "dealing out" of the menu and hovering over you like in Hanoi. In the past the menu was just a formality, they either expected you to know what to order, or be a student of Evelyn Wood (how's that for showing my age).
Was this the new softer and kinder Pho Hoa? Well, I'll tell you this much, they're probably still the fastest pho in the West. Not five minutes after ordering, my plate of herbs and garnishes was on the table as well as good ol' #4.
The broth is still on the dark side here, but very clear, slightly beefy, and a bit on the "sweet" side. Not as sweet as Pho Fifth Avenue, but definitely up there. It also had a bit too much MSG on this visit as my feet started to swell pretty quickly.
In terms of protein; the tendon was really hard and tough, there was trace tripe, the flank was almost crunchy, but with good flavor, and the brisket was nice and tender, but flavorless.
A decent bowl.
I did notice something a bit interesting...a lot of "older" gentlemen with "wives" at least 20 years or more younger. I later asked my friend "YY" about this and she told me it was kind of a trend nowadays......
Anyway, I was out of the place in less than 20 minutes....still too early for my next stops....still the fastest pho...if not in the West, at least in San Diego.
Pho Hoa-Huong Restaurant
6921 Linda Vista Rd
San Diego, CA 92111