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Monday, 28 May 2007



Sounds like you're a regular at this Vietnamese joint. Didn't seem to miss a beat on all of your visits.


hahah...Got it Bill. Nope, this was a blogging of only two meals there, so far. It is closer to our house though, so could become a regular spot. Their BBQ pork bahn mi is $3.50- not a significant hike in price compared to places I go to on Convoy Street, but not as cheap. We'll see if they start to recognize me from my visits.


Kathy, Another excellent Vietnamese restaurant posting! Keep up the great work!


Nice post. By the way, I ran into a tri-language menu at Lucky Pho in Vista (Sycamore next to Stater Bros). Too cool.


They have bahn mi? I'm definitely interested. I have friends in that area who get to-go food a lot, and sandwiches and the crispy noodles would definitely make for good to-go food.


Thanks for stopping, reading and commenting, Danny. I guess my verbiage has gotten better than when I blogged my first Vietnamese place (Mien Trung- on Oct 14 2006) I still know what I like, either way. The food is very good from here and not much more expensive than most of the Convoy Street places.
Hi, Janfrederick- I need to do more posts from North Country. Vista would be easy. Escondido even easier... The menu was so cool though..egg rolls being called taquitos...
Hey, Fred- yes, there on the bottom left first column of the menu- there are 5 to choose from- (click and the menu enlarges). I will be getting A12 soon, I know. Rice Jones used to be so popular and was only a block away. Having even more authentic Vietnamese food in this area is a good thing.

Steamy Kitchen

I can't believe how inexpensive it is to eat over there. All the Vietnamese food here in my town is twice as expensive....prob because there is only a handful of V restaurants.


Hi, again, SK- We have a very large Vietnamese population out here and so there is competition, which always brings down prices. Then again, we are in the bottom left hand corner of the US and have no choice in buying fuel, so our high prices, which you are now experiencing, have been at that level for more than a year. It evens out, I think.

sher I crave some shrimp tofu! Must find it!


Hi Sher. Sorry I didn't do a cross section photo. It is wonderful stuff. The crispy tofu skin just makes it 'feel' like it is fried shrimp. Look for it on the Bun page of the menus, either as on of the toppings or as one of the add ons.


Hi Cathy--great minds think alike, huh? I noticed that same offer for Pho Saigon Star in Get One Free's print circular awhile back. I've since visited the place several times--I currently live just down the road from there myself, and I'm liking having a pho shop so close. Their prices are admittedly about a buck higher than the joints along El Cajon Blvd., but then I'm sure the rent for the Friar's Road storefront must be that much higher than down in da hood. I'd been inadvertently doing this same great-minds-think-alike shadowing of Kirk in various restaurants for some time now, and I guess now I'm unconsciously shadowing you too. :-)


Hmm, Miz D...The Mister says the legal term is "stalking" ;) But it's OK...Kirk did the same with me also...or so I joked. It's our brains...thinking alike...about food...which is fine. I do like Pho Saigon Star in general; haven't had anything bad from there yet. So close to home also. The prices are not bad, just not as cheap as elsewhere. Everyone who works there is very friendly...Maybe I'll run into you there one of these days!


funny observation about the music! the fried shrimp paste roll sounds good. i think i want to try that next!


Hi Annie- Long time no hear...I looked at the shrimp paste and fried tofu skin as a 'no carb' option at first, and now, it is just plain great tasting 9as well as crunchy) and I have to try it every time I see it on a menu...
Usually the Chinese music is just sort of pleasant and I can't tell if it is repeating or not, but in this case, because the notes were exactly from "Numb", I could hear that song every few minutes. It was odd...yet pleasant.


Warning...This place is addictive
Friendly...fabulous food....clean and VERY reasonable $$$
Nicely decorated a plus...never


I have been in there on a Sunday, Johnny, when it is all families and it is crowded. Just saw the bamboo decorations last week; makes it even nicer. It is a great place and I am glad you found it and commented. Welcome.


Hi Cathy,

I stopped at Pho Saigon Star recently to catch up on the doings.

The kitchen is still run by the original chef, who was mother to the "nice young men" you mentioned in your review. Those brothers departed about the time the bamboo went up in June/July.

The chef's nephew, Nick, is running the front of house now, and he has great ideas for improvement and expansion. On being asked, I suggested adding ceiling fans and buying bánh from K Sandwiches.

To my taste, Pho Saigon Star's soup has improved noticably this summer; it seems more fragrant and rich than it did in the store's early days. Also, the chef appears to be ladling in more meat than before; for me, usually, brisket and tendon. The Chả Giò (egg roll) is always freshly cooked and flavorful, and is served with lettuce, mint, and nước chấm (condiment based on fish sauce and sugar).

While visiting one day, I asked Nick about a couple of side items I've missed: ngò gai (Saw-leaf herb) and chén hành dấm (raw white onion in vinegar). His eyes brightened as he offered "...people don't ask for these things, but we can make it for you!", just what a fat man loves to hear.

In the past, I have appreciated Pho Hoa Hiep and, for a while, even Pho Hoa Restaurant at El Cajon Blvd. and Euclid (doesn't the smiling cow know what's happening inside?), but my recent visits to Pho Saigon Star make it harder to leave the neighborhood when I want a steaming bowl of goodness. Now, if they'd just start importing bread from K Sandwiches...


Wow- great report, bbqdreamer. I never asked about ngo gai and only assumed they would bring it out if they had it. This is the closest pho place to my home and so we have eaten here quite often. Kirk has blogged about Pho Hoa Hiep (the first Pho place where the waitress told me "You no want that") as well as Pho Hoa. So many places around town. Oh, I go to K sandwiches for something to eat, drink, free wi-fi and then breads to take least once a week. So good...


Hi Cathy,

"You no want that." Lovely, and similar to my favorite, "You friends drink too much tea... you go home now!" Heard at Kowloon Restaurant in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown at about 3:30 a.m., many years ago.

Thanks for your kind comment, Cathy. As the man said, "I just calls 'em as I sees 'em," which reminds me, I have to get on the road to the Padres game, where I'll spend a few minutes tonight wondering if the *good* food is somewhere in the ballpark that I just plain can't find.

A question: are you getting the email I send you at ? I haven't heard from you, which is no big deal, but I want to make sure I'm not sending to someone else through my ignorance of blog protocol. - Omar


Hi bbq dreamer/Omar...that email goes to Kirk, the Top Guy on the blog...I know he has ben working a lot lately, if it is anote to me, he will forward it. NOW...Inside the ballpark food...meh. I usually eat before I go. If it is a Friday night-yikes! First, parking on the street downtown is free after 6 p.m. You can even park in those yellow zones. I like Market Street-Ciros Pizza at 6th, there is a Greek place next to the Pizza Place on that side of the street, Valentine's Mexican at about 8th, and on ninth just north of Market is a Kebab place. When it is *not* a day of ballgames, McCormick and Schmidts, right next o the park in that hotel (with the walkway that crosses right into the ballpark) has these $2 Happy Hour burgers....

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