I tried to hit as many Pho places as I could during the recent cooler weather. I happened to be down in Chula Vista and drove past this place. I last visited when it was Pho 888. Now it's Pho Royal....so that makes it; what, 3 different Pho joints in the last 6 years? Pho-real?
The exterior looks much better now that it's no longer giardia-green. The interior look basically the same, except for the wall of water and the elephant planters...which made it seem more like a Thai Restaurant. There were two young girls working....I assume they're the owner''s daughters....very nice kids.
The menu is interesting; regular or large bowl, then you can choose up to 7 different proteins for your bowl. I went with a small bowl - $5.95 and went with "C,D,E, & F"....that would be brisket, flank, tendon, and tripe.
The broth was too light in flavor, slight anise, almost no beef flavor, a bit of sweetness, but not too salty. The noodles perfect, which was nice since most bowls I've had recently included over-cooked and mushy pho banh.
The tendon was MIA, there were but a few strips of tripe which tasted fine. The brisket and flank were cooked to death, just falling to shreds and the brisket tasted a bit "off"....a residual "ice-box" flavor permeated the meat.
The prices here seem in line, the bowl is "pho-not-to-offend" much too light in flavor, but at least it isn't a MSG bomb. I still think Pho Hiep makes the best bowl in the area....let me know if you think there's something better!
I recently received an email that made me crack up......I won't reveal the persons name because they didn't want me to. But the gist of the email was along the lines of "you're the only person I know who can write 300+ words about a bowl of frgiin' soup". Yes, it's true....I can and have done so again!
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Mon - Sat 10am - 9pm
Sunday 12pm - 9pm