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Monday, 15 May 2006



Hi Em - Welcome and thanks for commenting. If you read, I wrote "The Pho' is very accessible, and when someone who's never had Pho' asks me where to go, I sometimes recommend Phuong Trang for that reason", they don't call it Vietnamese Denny's for nothing, very unintimidating. I would have to disagree about Pho' losing it's aroma if too dark...that is truly not the case at Pho Hoa Huang, Convoy Noodle House, and Lucky Pho...three of the places with the darkest Pho' broth, and those places go through a large amount of Pho', I don't think there much "sitting around", since if you take a look in the back, there's always a large pot simmering, not "sitting", which I tend to associate with stagnantly "sitting" in place, I've never had anything simmering for a period of time that has ever lost any aroma, in fact the flavor may end up more intense, if anything.... In the end I'm more concerned with flavors, richness, and oil content when it comes to Pho broth. One of the reasons I never say this restaurant or that restaurant makes the best Pho' in San Diego, is because each restaurant makes it differently...I can tell you what I like, and why, or what I didn't like, and why, and what my favorite places are, what flavor components of the broth came through, and such.


Hey Kirk, I had to try out Google Maps for an assignment I'm doing, so I made a map of all the Pho restaurants you've reviewed.
Take a look if you're interested:,-117.115631&spn=0.276776,0.462799&z=11&om=0&msid=115596294528151888572.00043cce50e29c73ff5a0


Hi Jenne - That is so cool....I'm also so very flattered! Thanks, I'll try to find a way to use it.


As a long time connoisseur of Pho from the 1960s in Saigon and all points North to the DMZ, I have established a 10 point grading system for Pho. After I recent trip to Vietnam, from Hanoi to South of Saigon, I have determined that the present peace in Vietnam, has been detrimental to the previous high standards of Vietnamese Pho in Vietnam. No war, no more water buffalo who have been killed by landmines, therefore NO large bones available for making really great Pho! I have determined that nowadays, the best Pho in the United States is now available only in Southern California, Pho HoaCali in Rancho Bernardo and San Diego being the best, which I rate at a 9. A few years ago I did find another 9 in a small Pho restaurant in Paris, France in the Opera District, which was owned by a Laotian/Vietnamese/French woman who learned her recipe from her Vietnamese mother. Again the access to large beef bones either makes or breaks a Pho restaurant, without the beef marrow, the stock is just another "canned soup".

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