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« Cleaning the Cupboard Bean Salad | Main | Babylon Cafe »

Sunday, 02 March 2008



that's the most people i have ever seen in that place. every time we have eaten there there hasn't been more than two other tables of customers. the place has a bit of a creepy vibe, which is even creepier when you are the only one eating there. the mirrors really don't help... it's kind of a fun house vibe..


our weather has been kind of weird here too.


Nice "retread"! I keep waiting for Pho Hoa to get sued for copyright infringement by the Laughing Cow. I've gotten some MSG-heavy broth here on occasion, too.


If I recall, unlike most other Pho stops around SD, Pho Hoa only offers Pho. No extra rice, egg rolls, or entree dishes anywhere on the menu. Just Pho. Not a bad thing, but good to know in advance in case you're looking for something to go with it.

And, I agree with the other posters with regards to the vibe of the place. I've been to Pho Hoa plenty of times, and they could use at least a decent amount of remodeling in the inside of that place. Creepy is a good word for it. Makes me feel like I'm in some darkened hole in the wall dive in the middle of Garden Grove or the Valley.

I found the Pho to be average for San Diego (even though Pho Hoa is a historic favorite for the local Viet I hear), maybe even a little less. A little too "stale beefy". So, taken together with the look of the place, and the limited menu, I have no plans to go back. I like variety in the menu along with a decent atmosphere, and of course, a good/fresh bowl of Pho with greens. To which, Pho Hoa Hiep and Lucky Pho still hit the mark better than anyone else in town. Clean, consistent, delicious.


I zeroed in on that tendon... it's funny after your texas hold'em comment, it kind of looks like a poker hall. Noodles look good, I'm getting a craving!


I tried this place a couple years ago. I went with a friend and it was ok. I went back by myself, and the servers seemed a bit on the hostile side.
I would agree, its rather dark and seedy looking on the inside. The best luck I've had with Pho, seems to be a Pho Ca Do, which isn''t too far down the street. Always clean and bright, and the waiters seem much nicer.


It's funny that picture of the interior makes it look nicer than I remember it. I always remember it being almost cave-like inside.


I have yet to try this place, because I'm always at Pho King and Pho Ca Dao down the street. I really, really enjoy Pho King out of the two.

Everyone I know swears that Pho Hoa is so much better than Pho King. Since you've posted about both, how do you think they compare? Please advise. :)

As much as I enjoy trying new pho joints...It's always hit or miss so I usually stick to the ones I'm used to.

The Guilty Carnivore

This was my first bowl of Pho when I moved to San Diego. Seems like after 10+ years they still have consistency issues.

The "off" "metallic" taste on the Tai - I think that's a bi-product of when a block or round is continually brought back and forth to a state of near-frozen to allow for easy slicing. And probably just being old.


Hi Dave - Funny, everytime I've been there, the place is quite busy. There is a strange vibe to the place.

Hi Kat - Weird weather this year....

Hi Trent - I think they'll have to go after Pho Ca Dao as well.....

Hi Mike - But you see....I love little dark hole-in-the-wall dives in Garden'll sometimes get the best food in those places. Like Binh Dan, which does a few things....but does them well:

Much better than those restaurants with everything but the kitchen sink on the menu, that does nothing well....

Hi FH - Maybe it kinda registered on some subconscious level... ;o)

Hi Stephen - The first itme I visited several years ago, they were really aggressive and rude. These past 2 visits, they seemed to have toned it down to mere indifference..... I enjoy the Pho from Pho Ca Dao, I also think they make the best tendon.

Hi Howie - LOL! The place is looking more seedy than I recall.

Hi Marissa - Pho Ca Dao in first, Pho Hoa in second, Pho King in third. We are regulars at Pho King, but after the first 2 visits, we never get the Pho there.

Hi GC - Yes, unfortunately inconsistent.....


I eat at Pho Hoa quite often and I've encountered that metallic taste you mentioned maybe once or twice, so I'd say it was a fluke.

Pho Hoa remains my favorite among the places I've been to in SD, but I guess pho preference is a very personal thing. Good thing we have so many options here!


Hi SK - I thought Pho Hoa was pretty good, if a bit on the salty end. I'm sure that meat thing was a fluke, since you won't stay in business and be so popular with the Vietnamese Community if it continually happens. But as always, what you read is what happened on my visit(s).


While the interior may start to look seedy, I enjoy how the exterior looks like a cross between a bowling alley, roller skating rink & a strip club :) Pho looks good though!


Hi Sharon - You enjoy that combination??? ;o)

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