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Monday, 15 May 2006



Hi Kirk,

It's really interesting to see how much Vietnamese food you actually eat. If there were more GOOD choices here, I'd probably eat it more often.

Many of the pho places here use lots of MSG and I can't drink the broth. Sometimes just eating the meat and noodles gives me a headache. *sigh*


Hi Reid - Many times it's a toss up between fast food, taco shops, and Vietnamese, so guess which one wins out. Plus, I'm really starting to understand the subtle differences in the broth. I'm sure Pho' places in San Diego us MSG as well.


hey kirk,

the pho in the movie was bought at a local shop in the afternoon and was sitting/absorbing broth for at least a few hours before shooting began... its funny cause anyone that knows anything about Pho always mentions that and says it looks more like "soba" noodles... hahahaha too funny.. EAT THE PHO!!!!!!! ;P


Hi Kirk,

Uh oh... I was afraid of this... Pho Hoa @ 6921 Linda Vista Road didn't even make the cut?

Maybe I'm pho-less, but I'd give Pho Hoa Linda Vista 5-phos for their pho, 5-phos for their Cafe Su Da and 5 more phos for their Cha Gio.

(Thanks for the Tour de Pho!)


Hi DCCF - You'll need a better "food stylist" for your next project.

Hi Marc - Not to worry, I just haven't gotten to Pho Hoa, yet! If I remember the broth there is on the dark side. Too many restaurants Pho' one guy!


Ahh... I've been looking forward to the pho roundup for a long time. It's nice to see all the comparisons in one handy location. You're right on with the pho vs fast food decision. It's a no-brainer for me. Vietnamese has a great quality-to-price ratio.

Like Marc, I like Pho Hoa in Linda Vista a lot. The broth is rich and beefy and the meat is usually nice and tender. But the quality varies sometimes.


Hi Kirk--thanks for the nifty retrospective! I just tried Bolsaa for lunch today, and my observations pretty much matched yours. Right now I think my Convoy Street neighborhood favorite remains Convoy Noodle House, but admittedly I haven't tried Phuong Trang yet. My overall pho fave is currently Saigon on El Cajon Blvd.--they've given me a really impressive amount of meat in my pho there. Mind you, though, I seem to be less tuned into the broth flavor nuances than you are. Pho-ward into the future! :-)


hi kirk!
i really like phuong's one of our favorites. one of my friends describes that restaurant as a 'vietnamese denny's'. pho cali in mission valley was awful and yes their garnish plate was skimpy. have you been down to pho vinh in chula vista (on broadway?)


Hi Howie - Yeah, I need to get to more Pho' places, huh? :o) THanks for patiently waiting.....

Hi mizducky - I enjoy Convoy Noodle House as well, as does Ed from Yuma. I like the broth there.

Hi Reynila - The Missus likes Phuong Trang too. "Vietnamese Denny's"....that cracks me up. Hopefully I'll get down and try the Pho' and Banh Mi places in the South Bay soon...but it's hard to stay away from Filipino Food and Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings when I'm down there!


Pure torture Kirk. Didn't get to make my Pho this week (hubby is OD'ing on Pho), but I shall have my way with him. ;)


I love these retrospectives. I only wished you lived in OC so that I can benefit from all your hard work!


Hi Jean - LOL! Sounds like you're having alot of fun with your adventures in Pho'.

Hi Elmo - Thanks man. I've gotten several requests for them, so I thought I should get off my butt and get them done.


PHO NOTES??? You're like a sommelier, but for pho. PHOmmelier. You cease to amaze me Kirk.


Hi Jeni - A PHOmmelier??? LOL!


Hi Kirk--popping in here again to say that, if/when you do a similar retrospective on Bun Bo Hue, you might want to check out Saigon's version. I had it yesterday and thought it was pretty good. Broth, while not spicy-hot, had a nice rich flavor; generous amount of meat; huge pile of veggie garnishes (though the only herb was mint); noodles with nice texture. Oh, and they do include pig's blood, which I happen to like, but IIRC, you'll be wanting to ask them to omit that, right? Anyway, enjoy!


Hi mizducky - Thanks for the rec....I never really get any type of noodle soup at Saigon. I tried the Pho' there once, and didn't care for it. Too much anise, and too much oil. But I'll check it out.

Darren Ferguson

A kindred spirit!


Hi Darren - Cool! Another member of the "Brother(Sister)hood of Pho'"


Pho Tu Do is one of the best pho shops in SD and has great service with nice owners, not the too busy to refill your water and too stingy to give u more beansprouts type of people which are very common.


Interesting perspective. I can appreciate someone who enjoys a good bowl of pho. I've eaten a lot of pho (at least 2x/wk) and IMHO I wouldn't consider Phuong Trang a place one would find good pho. They have a lot on their menu but from what I know about pho, it's better to have pho at a place that specializes in it. Those specialized pho restaurants have a less extensive menu and thus sells a lot of pho. Pho loses its aroma if it sits around too long and the broth turns dark. It's better to have a clear broth than a dark one. There's a number of reasons why a broth is dark and that's one of them.

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