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Sunday, 13 January 2013



Heh, funny thing – I was sick last week and pho is my comfort food, so I hit up a few Kearny Mesa pho places last week. TBH, the hard part is that I pretty much find all Kearny Mesa pho to not be inherently bad, but inherently inconsistent. I’ve had some awesome pho at Pho T Cali (last week – really fresh, plenty of tendon) and some terrible bowls too (salty dishwater, as you said). The single worst bowl of pho I’ve ever had was at Pho Convoy a couple years ago, but I’ve also heard many high praises. Sometimes Pho Fusion is on point, and sometimes leaves me unmoved.

At the Mira Mesa places, you pretty much know exactly what you’re going to get at each location. In Kearny Mesa, it tends to be a total crapshoot.


Hi Kirk, nice round up. I gave up on Pho Mignon + Grill after a few tries that were spread apart. Don't know how a broth that dark can have so little flavor! My first and last bowl at Pho Fusion closer to opening days was ok (never posted) but haven't been back since. I don't know how much longer Viet Bakery & Pho is going to last as I hardly see people in. My Pho experience was similar to yours.


too bad these were hit or miss...they sure look good as photos...


Hi Sage - Inconsistency is a terrible thing.... When I was told that the pho around KM was terrible, I really didn't think agree...until I actually thought about the last time I had a great bowl in the area. Strange.

Hi Dennis - It's kind of sad. One would think you'd be able to get a decent bowl in the area.

Hi Kat - I was really hit or miss.


At least you didn't spend a phortune on the dining experiences....


What a sad post Kirk! One would think you could find a decent bowl in the area...


My first choice is to drive up to Lucky Seafood for pho, but it's a bit of a long drive for a lunch hour for me. Mostly I go to Pho Hoa these days, but they have a tendency to serve lukewarm pho.


Wow 7 bowls in 2 weeks...


LOL Ken! I bet you think you're pretty "Pho-ny" huh? ;o)

Hey Jack - Yes, my thoughts exactly.

Hi MrZ - That's usually what I do as well.....

Hey Kirbie - Talk about MSG overload.....

Vicky (SF Bay Area)

Wow... I'd be so sick of Pho!! We have a Pho Hoa near us that's really crappy but open until 3am. It's our default go to if its super late and we need food. After eating there regularly for 2-3 months, I was completely Pho-ed out. *shudders* I can only imagine what it's like to eat that many bowls within two weeks!!!

When I was living down there, we'd drive out to Pho Ca Dao in Mira Mesa.... maybe when you're over the MSG disorder you can head north! :D

Michael Schwartz

Thanks for the detailed reports. I've also been searching the KM with little love.

Out of curiosity, where to your taste IS the best bowl of pho in San Diego?

Or, what is the best in the MM and the EJ corridors.

Thanks, Kirk!


"pho-pa" made me LOL :)


Hi Vicky - My favorites are actually in the MM area - Pho Lucky and Pho Cow Cali. With this cold weather, I'll probably get back there when I recover!

Hi Michael - Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment! My favorites are, Pho Lucky, Pho Cow Cali, Pho Ca Dao (City Heights location only).

Hi AZ - I'm glad you enjoyed my silly friends and I had spent several days texting really bad one's back and forth.


I fully agree - Pho Fusion's pho's pretty terrible. The portion sizes of some of the sides are a complete joke too.

What I find extremely annoying with some of these Vietnamese places is that they would bring a menu while walking you to your table as you enter, and as soon as your rear end touches the seat, they would ask if you're ready to order. No, buddy, I have not memorized your menu since it's my first time here, and when I say please give me a couple of minutes, that's what I mean, not standing next to me waiting for me, or coming back within LITERALLY 15 seconds. That's less time than an actual TV commercial break.


This is why I used to just go farther to mira mesa. much better there.

Unfortunately I haven't had better luck with pho in Boston..


Hi Ricky - That's SOP for many pho places. You should see how it is in VN!

Hi Cliff - That's true....our favorites are in MM.


My favorite pho place is the one inside Lucky Seafood as well. Similarly, I work in the Convoy area and have tried all of the above places and came away unimpressed each time. If I want soup, then I get ramen, with my current favorite being Yamadaya off of CM Blvd.

On a different note, do you have a favorite cha ca thanh long place in SD?

Keep up the good work on your blog. I find it very informative.


Hi Kha - Thanks for reading and the kind words. For Cha Ca, there's nothing like the Cha Ca Thang Long you'd have in Hanoi, or even at places like Viendong or Ha Noi in Littel Saigon. The version at Que Huong is a bit different, but we'll get it on a occasion...if anything, it's a bit less oily, but I still love the stuff we had in Hanoi.


Kirk - I went to to Cha Ca Thanh Long in Hanoi too, and it was delicious. My parents say Song Long in Westminster is better. I haven't tried it yet, but it is a place you may want to keep on your radar.


Hi Kha - I've been told by another person about Song Long, so know we'll have to check it out! Thanks for letting me know!

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