mmm-yoso!!! is the name of this food blog. Kirk is out and about, in a different time zone. Ed (from Yuma) is also in a different time zone and Cathy is in the here and now, blogging.
When I started to write this post, checking on whether or not I had written a prior post (to link) was a bit tedious. Of this location, I saw that Kirk had blogged about it twice now, calling it Pho Hoa-Huong', but the signage now has ..."I eat Pho!"...
Then there is Pho Hoa Hiep, located on the other end of this same parking lot as "I Eat Pho", which is anchored by Thuan Phat supermarket. Anyhow, this pho shop has been here a long time, the interior hasn't changed, the food is consistent and gets to the table extremely fast once you order.Delivery from the kitchen this visit was so fast that the Pho Tai ($6.30, small) raw beef still wasn't cooked in the hot broth when it was placed on the table. We like the pho broth (herbal-meaty) and noodles (not in a clump) here. You can order Cha Gio as a full or half order ($3.50), which is nice. The rice paper fried wrapper is my favorite. The fresh fried spring rolls have a good meat to veggie filling ratio. For years, I've been trying Bo Kho (beef stew) ($6.65) at various Vietnamese restaurants, even though I know the best is at Pho Lucky. The stew here is my second favorite in the County; it's rich and satisfying, with tender meat and a multi flavored broth.
Hot foods on a cool day, what a nice feeling. Hope all of you are enjoying this weather.
Pho Hoa 6921 Linda Vista Road San Diego 92111 (858) 492-9108 open daily 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
After having the hottest October on record, we've kind of settled into milder weather. Which means pho and ramen can be shoe horned back into lunch.
When Pho Paradise first opened, I thought it had some potential, even thinking that we'd finally get some decent Pho on Convoy. Even though my follow-up visit wasn't quite as good, I still believed they might have been the best pho in the area. So now, over six months later, I was wondering how things would be.
I started with the chicken wings, which looked very pale.
This wasn't too bad, the wings were fairly light and crisp, though sogginess set in rather quickly. A bit too much MSG for my taste, with that strange very salty edging on sweet taste and tongue sensation.
The pho was a disappointing.
This reminded me of the stuff Pho T Cali puts out. Barely any flavors other than being very salty with a very mild hint in the background. It was much too low in fat, the noodles, of which there was a healthy amount of, were over cooked, the proteins had no flavor and the tendon was too hard.
Well, at least the basil and bean sprouts were fresh, right?
In case you have doubts. Here's a bowl from Pho Paradise back in February.
Pho Paradise 3904 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Yakyudori Ramen and Yakitori:
I needed a break from the office one Friday and ran over to Yakyudori for an early lunch before the place got too crowded and the Servers too surly. It had been a while since I'd had lunch here and I went with the Friday combo. Chashu Gohan with a Shoyu Ramen.
The pork and rice came in a medium sized miso soup bowl....lots of rice in this though the chashu was good in comparison to what I'd had recently at Okan during lunch. It was tender, had some flavor, and was lukewarm rather than cold. The corn and bean sprouts added texture....but this was mostly a whole lot of rice.
I hadn't had lunch here in a while so I was surprised at the size of the "mini-ramen"....it was more mini that I recalled.
Not that I needed more carbs, but there were maybe three bites of noodles and I really wanted more soup. Overall, this was a decent bowl, just edging on too salty, but quite satisfying and the noodles were prepped well. I should have just gotten the ramen instead of the lunch special.
Since I did it with Pho Paradise, it's only right I do this here too. Here's what the mini ramen used to look like.
No wonder they give you so much rice now. They need to fill you up somehow.
At least they were a bit nicer here than on my previous visits.
Yakyudori Ramen and Yakitori 4898 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Love the cooler temps in the morning. It means I can grab a nice bowl of noodles for breakfast. I'd been wanting some Sate Beef Egg Noodle "Dry", so I headed over to Minh Ky. It has been a good 7-8 months since my last visit and it never fails to amaze me how this place can pack it in at 815 on a Sunday morning....for noodle soup.
The tables turn over quickly and there were twice as many take-out orders....
My usual here; the Beef sate Egg Noodle Soup "dry" - soup on the side. Still nicely priced at $6.45.
A nice portion size, the beef relatively tender. I always say the sate could use a bit more "oomph", but those places that are a bit more spicy tend to not have that nutty-pungent-onion-y flavor. The egg noodles were a bit past perfect this time around, but nice and hot. The soup on the side was slightly porky - I can say this since it was much less salty than usual. So was the sate as well.
The recent shifting of the weather (a bit, it's still waaaay too hot for October) meant a shift in our eating as well. We've posted on these places many, many times, so I thought I'd C(lear) O(ut the) M(emory) C(ard).
Aqui es Texcoco:
A lovely Mixiote and a milky, salty(in a good way), Quesataco with huitlacoche, which added a nice earthy flavor to the crunchy, oozy-gooey, texture.
Talk about the post that never wanted to be....I was working on this post last week when my PC, which was all of over a decade old decided to finally kick the bucket. When things were up and running again, the weather got so hot and muggy that I felt guilty about even doing a post on Mien Trung.
Mien Trung has been a favorite of ours over the years, though the Missus doesn't get the Bun Rieu anymore because they stopped using the correct thinner noodles and I've been noticing some inconsistency, as "Mom", the older woman who owns the place gets older. So a couple of weeks back, when the heat turned for a bit the Missus and I decided to visit Mien Trung. Strangely, we didn't recognize any of the folks working....we've been coming here for years mind you.
The service was odd, we got the wrong order, and my bowl of Bun Bo Hue was waiting....sitting on our table because they forgot to bring the greens. And my Bun Bo Hue looked wrong and even smelled a bit different as well.
It was missing the cilantro and onions. The noodles were soft and mushy. The broth was very spicy and was really salty, and where was the red hue from the annatto oil? This was bad. The first thing I did was text my good friend "YummyYummy" asking if Mien trung had been sold or if "Mom" had retired. No one knew......
At least the Missus's Hen Xuc Com - spicy baby clams over rice was spot on. Very peppery a bit spicy, with nice savory tones.
I decided to return, but the weather once again got too hot. I did receive a text from "YY" telling me they had dropped by MT and "mom" was there. Still, I decided that I needed to drop by and check things out for myself.
And yes indeed "Mom" was in the house.
And while this was much better; it was still not quite the same. While the nice bracing flavor of lemongrass was back, and things were now the status quo, there was something missing....the flavors just seemed dulled, the dish lacked the vibrancy that made MT a stop on our rotation. It's easy to see the difference in this vintage shot of the Bun Bo Hue.
Sadly, Mom might be winding things down and passing the torch. Time does pass....it used to be that when Mom wasn't around MT would close. I do hope that the next time I visit I'll see that bright bowl of BBH and have those wonderful fragrances wafting through the air....but if it is not to be, Mien Trung had a great run.
Mien Trung Restaurant 7530 Mesa College Dr San Diego, CA 92111
I was taking a weekend morning drive along ECB, checking things out when I noticed that Nhat Vy was gone and replaced with "Asian Noodle House"....talk about a generic name......
It was just past 8am and I was contemplating checking the place out when the car in front of the shop left....giving me a perfect parking spot. This must have been some kind of "sign" right? So I pulled a U-turn and parked.
The place looks totally Spartan and generic....
The older gentleman working here was very friendly. I was handed the menu and had that "deja vu" feeling. I knew I'd seen this menu somewhere before....... Yeah, strange, kind of weird. And then it came to me; it looked just like the menu from the now defunct Hao Vi. So of course the first thing I did when I got home take a look at my Hao Vi post. Take a look and tell me what you think.
If I had any doubt in my mind; that was erased when the Hu Tieu Nam Vang ("kho" - dry - $6.50) arrived.....
It was the soup that sold me...instead of a leg bone, it was a couple of ribs. The soup was just like Hao Vi's porky, with a slight sweetness from the MSG.
The Hu Tieu was a bit overcooked and mushy, though it was nicely seasoned....the rest was routine, shrimp tough, ditto the pork, though that chicken was nice. The portion size a on the smaller size, but perfect for breakfast. I think the version at Ly Heng while being on the salty side is better and cheaper.
I did decide to return the next morning since the Missus was sleeping. This time I got the Beef Sate Egg Noodle "dry" ($6.50).
Again the noodles were on the overcooked side. This was pretty spicy though. The sate sauce was quite strong, it obviously wasn't diluted down, but it had a powdery texture to it. The beef was nice and tender. It was fine, but it won't make me forget the version at Minh Ky.
In regards to Hao Vi; the nice woman working here seemed not to understand when I asked. That's ok, I'll find out one of these days. Really nice folks here..... I'll drop by again in a couple of months. I like that they open at 8am; it does give me another option for breakfast in the area.
Asian Noodle House 4595 El Cajon Boulevard San Diego, CA 92115
Well, well, here you are again, looking at mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk is still overwhelmed with lists of things to do. Ed (from Yuma) has lists of places to see. Cathy is writing today, with a list of favorites.
It's about time for me to rotate locations and cuisine to Mira Mesa and Vietnamese. Bolsa has been located in this same mall that holds the storefronts of QT Pot and Tapioca Heaven at the SouthWest corner of Mira Mesa Boulevard at Black Mountain Road for more than ten years. Kirk wrote one post about Bolsa in 2008 and he didn't like the pho. Let me say that after 7 1/2 years, the pho here still is not the best. But so many other menu items are. The interior is always clean and we've always been seated immediately.The fried squid appetizer ($9.95) can be a meal or can be shared. Lightly seasoned and breaded and properly fried, the crispy batter combined with the tender squid is always a good choice.The version of cha gio ($6.50) are made with my favorite, rice paper skin. The deep fried egg rolls are filled solidly with a variety of vegetables and just bit of pork. Six are served with a good amount of fresh mint and lettuce; more than enough for wrapping. The nuoc cham dipping sauce here really has the sweet, sour, salty, savory and spicy hints of flavor that compliment the rolls.Then again the order of spring rolls ($4.25) are also multi vegetable filled, tightly wrapped in fresh rice paper with my preferred filling of pork ball and the accompanying peanut dipping sauce.Banh Xeo ($7.95) is ordered before opening the menu. The crispy sizzling rice batter, flavored (and colored by) turmeric needs some extra time to make. The filling of sliced pork, shrimp, bean sprouts and mung beans are all part of our 'ritual' of cutting up the savory pancake and placing a bit of everything on a piece of lettuce along with some mint and dipping the wrapped morsel into the nuoc cham sauce.
It's gotten to the point that one of the waiters merely tells us that they have begin preparing the Banh Xeo because they saw us in the parking lot...The version of chicken curry ($6.95) here is excellent. Savory with some sweet, the curry sauce is thick and always has such deep flavor. Served with a warm loaf of banh mi that is used to soak up the sauce after eating the (large amount of) chicken along with the onion, carrot and noodles that are in the bowl, this is a great meal, especially on a cooler day.The turmeric marinaded fish ($13.95) is so good. The accompaniments in the upper photo include lettuce, sesame leaf, cold noodles, peanuts and sesame studded rice cracker...but those are hardly necessary for the first bites of these fried thicker pieces of moist fish with a light turmeric seasoned crust and fresh cooked dill. The flavors of just those basic pieces could be enough, but I end up making small lettuce filled bites using all the other ingredients to continue the enjoyment of the flavors.Last summer, my obsession was lemon beef salad. The version here is called lemon sauce beef ($9.95) and is listed as an appetizer. The salad, with its lettuce, onion and mint along with some crushed peanuts and the lemon cooked thin slices of beef seems to be exactly what I crave on hot, humid days. However, I still seek out other versions, just to be sure I have found my favorites.There's also a 'Stir Fried Egg Noodle' section the menu. You can ask for the noodle to be deep fried instead of stir fried and sometimes (like rainy days) the crispy noodle, topped with a combination of everything ($9.95)...beef, pork, shrimp, squid and vegetables..along with the addictive flavorful gravy is just perfect here.
Bolsa 9225 Mira Mesa Boulevard San Diego 92126 (858) 693-3663 open 9-9 daily
Don't want to bring too much attention to it....just in case you hadn't noticed. But man, it's still some kind of humid isn't it? On the good side. Well, I've been getting a nice amount of recommendations recently. Here are two of them.
あまりにも多くの誇大宣伝の家 aka RakiRaki:
That would be "Amarini mo ōku no kodai senden no ie". You can kind of figure out what I'm referring to based on my previousposts. It just seems at times that RR's biggest fan is themselves. On a good note, I think the product, while still far from great has been getting better over the last couple of years. And I received an email by "one who wants to remain anonymous" with two rec's. The first telling me that the Rikimaru Miso Tonkotsu Tsukemen was the way to go. So it's the way I went.
First, some housekeeping items...I ordered my noodles cold, but I guess the kitchen didn't get the memo and over-cooked them instead. Maybe to teach me a lesson for being a pain and ordering them cold? That egg was tragically over cooked, dry, and quite bland to boot.
I usually avoid miso based ramen broth because it's either much too salty, or all you end up tasting is the miso base. In this case it worked out quite well. Not too salty, faint miso flavor, the broth's almost citrus like "bite" tempered a bit. Decent amount of pork in the soup. This might be the way to go for me in the future...... In spite of the $13 price tag.
I heard through the grapevine that RR had purchased the lease to the A Cafe space, so it will be interesting to see what happens here.
RakiRaki Ramen and Tsukemen 4646 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Pho Ha Noi:
There was a second recommendation in the email. I was informed that the best item on the menu at Pho Ha Noi was not the Pho, but something called Spicy Beef Salad, which just sounded right on one sweaty day.
Pho might not be the way to go here; but it sure didn't seem that way since the other three folks in the place were all getting pho.
The young man serving me was very nice and friendly. He also asked me twice if I could eat "spicy" when I ordered the spicy beef salad.
This is an interesting riff utilizing the typical stir fry beef which has been flavored with soy and fish sauce; a little sweet of course, but a bit under flavored for me. It was adequately tender and there was a fairly generous portion of protein. The "salad" is basically cabbage (aka coleslaw) mix with some, a bit too little slices of herbs mixed in. The "spicy" wasn't very spicy at all, basically a watered down nuoc mam cham with chili paste mixed in.
As a pseudo fast food dish, this wasn't bad. And I got my veggies....... Still, I'm not sure I'd have this again.
Pho Ha Noi 6904 Miramar Rd San Diego, CA 92121
Our "FOY" (Friend of Yoso) really wanted my opinion on these two items. So there you go! Thanks so much for taking the time out to email me!
A decent version, not too salty, rice a bit more mushy than I like. If you don't like chunks of preserved fish in your fried rice; this version might do it for you as the salted fish is finely minced.
I was looking for something to have with my meal and the Whole Fried Fish was recommended. I must have had vapor lock since I just went ahead and got it without asking what kind of fish.....tilapia....sigh....
Fried to death and beyond.......dry flesh, but at least it didn't taste too muddy. I've got stories about tilapia and growing up in Hawaii....sometimes called "the mahimahi of the Ala Wai Canal".
Sang Deuan Thai & Lao Kitchen 3904 Convoy St. Suite 112 San Diego, CA 92111
Tim Ky Noodle:
Well, it had been over 6 months since my last visit, and in spite of the heat, I thought I'd get some Bun Suong. Which unfortunately is no longer on the menu, which look a bit abbreviated from what I recalled. So I went with the Won Ton and Dumpling Egg Noodle soup which I recalled was pretty decent compared to other versions in San Diego.
While I don't expect excellence in won tons and dumplings in "Mi shop" versions, these weren't quite as good as I'd previously had. They were still more tender than say Luong Hai Ky or Minh Ky. The real difference between what I'd had before was how bland the broth was; there was a shortage of flavor and richness in this bowl. Just compare it to what I had on my previous visit:
Quite a difference, eh?
It's hard to complain about a bowl of noodle soup that is cheaper than a sandwich (not of the banh mi species), but this was nowhere as good as what I'd had before. Disappointing and kind of sad....I'm hoping this is the exception and not the rule.
Tim Ky Noodle 9330 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92126
Noodle soup when it's 88 with 80% humidity? Yeah, I guess so. At least that's what I had this past weekend.
Da Nang Food to Go:
My first choice was for some Beef Sate Noodle from Minh Ky, which was standing room only....at like 9 in the morning. My second choice was for some Bum Mam from Nhu Y, but all those guys having coffee and the parking lot was full. It had been a while since I last visited Da Nang and the parking lot was empty....
While not in the league of, say Huong Giang, this wasn't bad at all. Mi Quang isn't supposed to have a ton of soup, so this filled the bill. The broth was a little too light for my taste. There was a ton of turmeric colored noodles. The shrimp, which looked kind of dubious at first was nicely cooked, still moist, the pork had good flavor, though it was on the tough side. I wish there were more "herbs"
Hard to complain for $5.95 though.
Da Nang Food to Go (aka Quan an Da Nang) 4745 El Cajon Blvd San Diego, CA 92115
Pho Sao Bien:
Sunday was a crazy day, wasn't it? Things looked bright and sunny early on; but by 3pm.....well, the clouds moved in as did the record rainfall. The temps stayed high....and it became a sweatbox at home.
It had been a while since I'd been to Pho Sao Bien so I decided to check them out again.
The place had been freshened up a bit over the years, but looked pretty much the same.
The guys working here have, for the lack of a better description, sort of a laid-back, stoic kind of thing going on.
Let's call this set of photos the "Cha Gio go on a diet"?
Unevenly fried so that portions of the wrapper was hard and gummy, the rest of it just plain hard instead of crisp. The filling is now almost all filler. The nuoc mam cham watered down. How sad. I could only manage to try to eat two.
I hadn't had the pho here in almost 9 years, so it was time for a repeat, right?
In keeping with my previous pho encounter here; the garnishes were quite skimpy.
Lordy, lordy, where to start? How about the good news? The tendon, tripe, and flank were pretty darn good. No off tastes, the tendon gelatinous and tender.
The rest just wasn't to my taste. Other than being on the salty side; the broth was really, really, weak and bland. It was also cloudy and there seemed to be an abnormal amount of scum in it. The noodles were also over cooked and mushy. I tried all kinds of stuff to bump up the flavor. But nothing really helped. Finally, I did something I haven't done in 25 years........gasp....I added Sriracha and Hoisin..... I never thought I'd have to resort to this.