Spotted Cow Viet Kitchen:
I'd had a really good bowl of Bo Kho from Pho Lucky while doing my errands for the Missus. The following weekend, I had to get something from Zion Market and was hungry. Spotted Cow opens early, it had been a while since my last visit so I thought I'd grab a bowl of the Pho Bo Kho, which was the the best thing I had during my previous visits to Spotted Cow. The drill ended up being kind of strange; I ordered, the gentleman then went to the back of the shop and carried a Styrofoam container to the kitchen area. He set the container down out of sight and about thirty seconds later I heard a "ding"....sure sounded like a microwave to me. Meanwhile, my noodles were heated fresh in front of me, the contents of the container were poured into a bowl and additional broth added. I guess they don't sell enough beef stew?
I thought this was a rather odd bowl of Pho Bo Kho. The broth was barely past lukewarm. In fact this is the first time I can ever remember having a bowl of noodle soup where the noodles were actually hotter than the broth! The broth was very mild, in need of a bit more anise tones and beefiness in my opinion. At least it wasn't too salty. The carrots were nicely done, very tender. Cilantro and onions are quite important to the bowl in my opinion....adding an additional pungency to cut the richness and in the case of the cilantro, that extra anise and almost citrus like tones of cilantro (nope, I don't have olfactory receptor genes OR6A2) really add to the flavor.
As you can see.....I think it's the cost-cutting trend these days, barely any bean sprouts and basil.
The meat was provided in nice squared off chunks. It had probably been cooked separately ahead of time, not a bad thing, then chopped into chunks for serving. It was not bad....though I was looking for some tendon, which I love with my Bo Kho, but none was to be had.
The noodles, the thinner type of Banh Pho, was perfect in texture......there was a huge amount of noodles in the bowl.
But noodles are but one component of Pho Bo Kho. I'm kind of on the fence about this one; the broth was a bit too mild and the temperature was off.....it was kind of made "not to offend", not something I enjoy when having a meal.
Spotted Cow Viet Kitchen (in the Zion Market Food Court)
7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd