As the clouds and humidity swirled on into San Diego....with the weather turning slightly monsoon-like, with rain falling in August, my thoughts suddenly turned to Bun Mam. I'm not sure why, but that funky, fermented-fish based umami bomb broth called to me. So I decided to check out Com Tam Nhu Y, which, if you're keeping score, used to be Nhu Y, then, having been sold, became Com Tam Thuan Kieu, not to be confused with Com Tam Thuan Kieu for a blink of the eye....only to become Com Tam Nhu Y, not to be mistaken for Pho Nhu Y in Clairemont, opened by the former owner of Nhu Y. Really....can you say soap opera in the making? Who needs "Real Housewives of xxxxx", when you can have "Noodleshop Stories of San Diego"?
Well, whatever.....I was here for the soup......
The last itme I visited, I thought the broth had taken a turn to a lighter and an almost sweeter soup. Well.....it was back to the good 'ol Nhu Y broth on this visit. Dark and funky, it was raised by the squeeze of lime and the melange of herbs to cut the thickness of the broth. It was also a bit more spicy.......like a broth that had been steeping for a while. This is one of the few soups that can overcome the rather muddy flavor of low grade catfish......you take in the smooth and buttery texture of the fish.
The stuffed jalapeno really didn't do much for me and the shrimp were slightly over-cooked, but I knew what makes this dish tick....that really rich and funky broth. This was actually pretty close to what I had recently at Nhu Y Clairemont and I didn't have to wait until after 3pm to order it. Though that Hispanic couple who came in and sat behind me, then moved after my soup arrived may want that 3pm rule implemented here....hey, this ain't your neighborhood or restaurant, sometimes you might want to experience real life..... and real food....
Com Tam Nhu Y
4712 El Cajon Blvd Ste A
San Diego, CA 92115