Pho 999 and Pho 1 in Van Nuys...What to order?
I'm a complete novice in the area of Vietnamese cuisine, but both Pho 999 and Pho 1 are close by to me in Van Nuys, and I've always wanted to try one or both of them. My question is: What should I go for my first time out? Keeping in mind that I really don't care for most vegies (mushrooms and onions are OK!...and I loves me some garlic), do any of you 'hounds have any advice?
I personally prefer Pho So 1 so I will make recommendations for this restaurant:
Definitely try the pho. personally, i like #19 (rare steak) but requesting the meat to be cooked well-done.
If you like lemongrass, the beef with lemongrass rice dish is excellent. mix in the juices with the white rice and you've got a meal in itself!
their eggrolls are good too. not the best, but definitely tasty.
I love the cha gio at Pho So.
If you're new to Pho, try the rare steak first. It's easier to get acquainted with pho and the method of eating it without being put off by the more unusual choices of meat.
the rare steak will arrive swimming in the hot broth, looking quite pink. Don't worry. Just dunk it in the broth so it will cook further. Use your chopsticks to separate the noodles. Watch other diners to see how they do it.
Everybody has their own method of eating Pho, but the way I do it is to squeeze the lime into the bowl; add a touch of Sriricha sauce, break up the basil and other herb leaves into pieces and put them in the bowl, along with a good handful of bean sprouts.
spoon in one hand, chopsticks in the other, scoop up some broth, pick up a piece of steak, or a few noodles and onions, eat and sip. I like to dunk my steak in a little dish with mixed Sriricha and hoisin sauce, but like I said, everyone has their own tastes and methods.
Once you know how you like to eat it, you can try the other beef cuts. I like the brisket, and I like the little beef balls. I haven't tried tendon or tripe yet.
Another thing to consider at Pho So 1 is the Ca Phe Sua Da. It's a Vietnamese ice coffee that's essentially a shot of espresso mixed with condensed milk. It will come out in what looks like a miniature strainer over a demi-tasse. Let the coffee filter all the way through and stir it all together in the demi-tasse before pouring it into a glass of ice.
Other methods of eating pho include picking the meats out with chopsticks, and dipping them into a sauce mixture of your choosing, such as hoisin, fish sauce and sriracha. I prefer to just eat the whole thing in the bowl, adding all of those flavors directly into the broth.
My preferred bowl is Pho Dac Biet - rare steak, tendon and tripe. It's so delicious.
Seems like there are multiple branches of Pho 999 in Van Nuys, one very close to my work. Are they the same owners? Is there a quality difference? Or should I just go to Pho 1?
I had terrible pho at Pho 999 on Sepulveda. Seriously lousy. I can get a very similar experience from a Top Ramen seasoning packet. It was bad enough that my lunchmate and I both paid, left our near-full bowls on the table, and bought lunch elsewhere.