A good bowl of Pho in Riverside CA
Although I don't consider myself a connoisseur, I've sampled maybe 20 different restaurants in OC, LA county and the Inland Empire. I also prefer to use wooden chopsticks instead of reusing ones supplied by the restaurant. Seems to me that some restaurants don't retire chopsticks when they obviously need to, and snapping chopsticks like a turkey wishbone make me feel so Sam Decker a la Blade Runner. There's a handful of Vietnamese Restaurants within 5 mi of my neighborhood, La Sierra. IMHO, the best bowl of pho tai gau for under $5 is
1. PHO 99@4557 LA SIERRA AVE, RIVERSIDE, CA . It has a delicate beef broth that's not overpowering and a proportionate amount of meat. Second runner up is
2. Pho Ha 10185 Magnolia Ave Riverside, CA. A generous amount of noodles and meat sacrifices the amount of broth, but the cut of meat are superb.
Also notable and within 15min drive are
3. PHO DAT 1237 W 6th St Corona, CA. A very clean restaurant with good service
4. LITTLE SAIGON 2650 Hamner Ave Norco, CA. Do yourself a favor and try their eggrolls. In presentation the shrimp's tail is sticking out of the roll itself. Friendly staff.
How about other recommendations or feedback?
If you're interested there's two more pho shops off of University Avenue near UCR.
One is a place that I can't really recall the name of, but it was recently built and next to a Rite Aid off the corner of Chicago and University Avenue. It looks like it's meant to be slightly more upscale than a place like PHO 99.
The other is a small shop not even half a mile north of that place on University avenue called Pho Saigon. It's been featured in the press enterprise and IE weekly and they seem to rave about it.
I can't testify to the quality of either two places though, I've only seen them in passing, and I've only had Vietnamese food once in my life so far and that was at Pho 99.