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The best veggie Pho I have ever had

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In the last year I have stopped eating meat. I thought that this meant I would have to give up Pho, one of my favorite things in the world. Everytime I tried veggie Pho at a standby place like Pho 84, I ended up with low-flavor noodle soup. Nothing terrible, but certainly nothing worth going out to eat.

Last month I was in Walnut Creek with my mom and we stopped by Da Lat Vietnamese Cuisine on Locust Street. (the street number is 1353 Locust Street) We weren't too hungry so we ordered a vegetable Pho and some Rice Wrapper spring rolls. Expecting nothing to exciting, we settled down to nice tea in a cute suburban setting.

After about 4 minutes out come plates with perfect little spring rolls--tofu, cilantro, a nice simple hoisin dipping sauce. These ubiquitous rolls are usually good in Vietnamese restaurants, so I wasn't really impressed.

But then, out comes the bowl of Pho. Lots of crisp veggies in a lite and very flavorful broth. I suspect it was a Chicken and Seafood broth, but I can't be sure. On the side they brought a plate of crisp bean sprouts, cilantro, chili paste, lime and hoisin. We dumped it all in, stirred it up, and ate the best Veggie Pho I have ever had.

I live in Berkeley, so getting to Walnut Creek is kind of a hassle, but if you are out there, check it out.

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  1. How does it compare to the vegan pho at Golden Era in SF? Speaking of vegetarian soups, Oiri Ramen House on Cyril Magnin has a vegetarian ramen (vegan broth) that is pretty incredible.

    but wait, your pho wasn't vegetarian, you suspect it was Chicken or Seafood?

    1. Pho is not a vegetarian dish.

      3-5 chickens and 30-40 lbs of beef/pork bones are used to make the soup.

      The meats in the bones are then carved and served depending on what you order.

      If you don't use meats to make the soup, then most likely they use MSG and dried beef/pork.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowdown
        c
        Caitlin McGrath

        At Pho 84, at least, the non-red meat pbos are made witha chicken and seafood broth (though I don't know about the all-veggie one).

      2. While the Pho at Da Lat is made with broth, there is
        a wonderful soup entree under the vegetarian items that
        contains a mix of exotic veggies. I was assured that
        it was vegan. One can never tell though. Sure didn't
        taste like a meat broth to me.