Awesome Pho in Chinatown area?
Is there anywhere in the financial district or chinatown are that has pehnomenal pho that rivals the best of them out in the Avenues?
My firned and I at work are craving delicious Pho for lunch with all the fixin's, the limes, the bean sprouts, the basil, the chilis, WE WANT IT ALL!
there is no substitution for good Pho and that is what we are determined to find and consume for our lunch time delight.
I was in SF last week and being a pho lover, I managed to get to Golden Star and Slanted Door. Slanted Door was $9 for a pretty small bowl, but the broth was excellent. The meat was just standard beef - no scary cuts to freak out the tourists, I guess. The meat wasn't amazing, but good. The noodles were thicker, like chinese ho fan noodles, but nice and soft and not in a tangled ball.
I was disappointed with Golden Star after all the rave reviews. It was really busy, even at 2pm. I got the #1 house special - pho with everything. The broth was pretty good, though slightly on the sweet side, which made me paranoid about them adding msg. The bowl was huge and loaded with stuff, but somehow it just didn't do it for me. I liked the soft noodles, but I didn't like the way they were completely tangled in an inseparable mass that broke off every time I tried to slip a few out. I'm no meatball expert, but I found the meatballs were more filler-y than meaty.
So I wasn't really blown away at either place. I guess I liked the broth better at SD. GS is obviously a better deal - I think it was about $6. SD's price is really high for what you get, though of course you'd expect that considering the restaurant. I do usually prefer the authentic hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
Jan and Melanie,
Thank you for the suggestions!
Today we went to Golden Flower and it was totally cute inside and I got #5 with egg noodle and my friend got The Brisket with Beef balls. The broth for the brisket was excellent! totally different from the broth i got with the rare steak. My broth was flavored with Anise and Five Spice and was almost murky (very tasty when i added some extra lime to round out the flavor) The broth for the brisket was clear and light and tasted almost like a pork broth. Very delicious and far more subtle and enticing than the five spice broth.
We both decided that was some of the best pho we have had around town. And some of the best soup we have had in this area (although i am still a huge Hon's fan, my firend however does not like the broth at Hon's so she is a little to biased...)
next week we will try the other Pho place that Melanie suggested and do a little taste test.
at least i now know where i can find some real oho when i get the craving at work.
Thanks for getting back to us. I agree with you, these two in Chinatown are among the best (although I haven't tried any of the pho places in the Richmond) in the City. Golden Star is extremely busy at lunch time, so go early or after 1:30pm. It's deserted at night, thus a good place to get a to go order on your way home.
So glad you liked the soup. My current favorite item there is the bun--#37 with roast pork, though the #40--roast pork with imperial rolls is clearly the office favorite. I find the rolls a little too greasy for my taste.
I used to eat at Golden Star a lot but haven't been back in a few years. I need to try it again. As I remember, their bun was also quite good.
re: jan newberry
re: jan newberry
Thanks for the tip on Golden Flower. We have a group of Pho afficionados at my work called "Friends of Pho." Since our previously favorite place changed hands and recipes, we've been without a real home. Being vegetarian, most places' veggie version of Pho is either terrible or made with beef or chicken stuck (or both terrible AND made with meat stock...)
The Vegetarian Combination soup at GF was outstanding! Excellent broth. Great veggies and a plethora of tofu.
Chowhounds come through again!