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Best West/South Bay Bun Bo Hue?

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charliemyboy Jan 18, 2008 09:14 PM

At a business lunch 4 or 5 years ago I was treated to a bowl of bun bo hue at a restaurant that was said to have the best in the area. I remembered it as being on 4th Street in San Jose, but was unable to find it today so I settled for another place called Dakao Resaurant and was very satisfied with their bun bo hue. I am now hooked on this soup but have no idea which places have the best reputations for this dish. Can anyone suggest a mid-Peninsula place with good bun bo hue? If the best are further south I'd also be interested in those restaurant names for my occasional trips to SJ.

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    sfbing RE: charliemyboy May 12, 2009 12:01 AM

    Bun Bo Hue An Nam w/ or w/o penis, your choice.
    Garnished with shaved banana blossom.

    Branch #1 at 740 Story Road, Ste 3 is better. The CHOW database incorrectly lists Branch#2.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sfbing
      Melanie Wong RE: sfbing May 12, 2009 01:04 PM

      Just a reminder that the CHOW Places database is member-generated. If you see an error, please help your community by editing the record and making the correction.

      1. re: Melanie Wong
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        sfbing RE: Melanie Wong May 12, 2009 01:45 PM

        Thanks for letting me know--I hadn't realized that was possible.

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        Bun Bo Hue An Nam
        740 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

        1. re: sfbing
          Melanie Wong RE: sfbing May 12, 2009 02:13 PM

          Thanks for taking care of that. And, my comment was directly generally and not specifically for you. It bears repeating periodically, as the Places entries often are at the top of a google search and the first place that newcomers will find Chowhound info.

    2. m
      misspiggy RE: charliemyboy May 12, 2009 01:12 AM

      I think this place on 4th Street in San Jose that you taked about closed for awhile and re-opened in both Santa Clara and in San Jose. The place is called Ca Mau and New Ca Mau. They are located in San Jose and Santa Clara respectively.

      Bun Bo Hue An Nam is also very good so I think anyone of these places would work.

      As for stuff on the Peninsula - I have tried many and none have really made the cut. When I use to live in San Mateo the one at Pho Saigon would sometimes be just ok but not really. I think I had it at Ang Hong once and didn't like theirs at all.

      1. DezzerSF RE: charliemyboy May 12, 2009 11:24 AM

        Third on BBH An Nam, Story Rd.

        1. Alice Patis RE: charliemyboy May 12, 2009 03:33 PM

          Normally, I'd echo the rec for BBH An Nam on Story Road (I haven't been to the other locations), but my visit about a month ago was pretty disappointing. The beef (both the muscle & the connective tissue) was tough, ie not cooked long enough, the broth almost devoid of heat, and the noodles too soft. Also the side of julienned veggies was almost all cabbage, not much banana flower. So different from my past visits. I was hearing/reading downhill reports since they opened the 2nd location, but I didn't expect it to be such a steep downhill.

          My photo below. Note lack of red oil droplets. Maybe I should've asked for extra-spicy but normally you don't have to say anything and you'd get a nice spice level. Oops, photo didn't get attached. Go to this link for photo:
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevenal...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Alice Patis
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            sfbing RE: Alice Patis May 12, 2009 05:20 PM

            Your noodles do look too soft.

            It was a little rocky two months ago, but I had a bowl on Sunday which was very nice. Plenty of banana blossoms, maybe a little too generous with the pork blood. Here's hoping they're just getting some kinks out.

          2. meloncollie RE: charliemyboy May 12, 2009 05:36 PM

            I *love* BBH, and I also love BBH An Nam, but I think My Khe (specializes in Central Vietnamese food) down the street is pretty good (though it's a little bit more hole-in-the-wall than BBH An Nam). While I can't guarantee that you'll love it (since it's been awhile for me), it's at least another place to try :) If not, their appetizers are delicious.

            1. DezzerSF RE: charliemyboy May 12, 2009 07:38 PM

              Anyone try Bun Bo Hue San Jose on Capitol? I had a decent bowl there in November, broth was homier than An Nam but still complex. The meats weren't as tender either but they give you a generous amount.

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              Bun Bo Hue San Jose
              1631 E Capitol Expy, San Jose, CA 95121

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                charliemyboy RE: charliemyboy May 22, 2010 08:12 PM

                I recently had an excellent bun bo hue at Bun Bo Hue An Am on Story Road in San Jose. The bowl was crammed full of great tasting ingredients. The pork pieces were tender and chewy with a nice mix of fat and meat and great flavor. There were strips of a kind of pate which was even more flavorful. The beef pieces were just OK. The ox penis had a tendon-like texture but didn't seem to thicken the broth the way tendon does. The pork blood cakes were more flavorful than most. I prefer the thinner noodles I usually get in pho but maybe BBH is supposed to have thicker noodles.

                I was a little disappointed in the broth. It was less intense than my memory of past BBH. I expected it to be redder, spicier and oilier. Maybe they dumb it down for pale-skinned customers. Even so, the quality and quantity of the other ingredients made this a great bowl of soup.

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