Best West/South Bay Bun Bo Hue?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Bun Bo Hue San Jose
1631 E Capitol Expy, San Jose, CA 95121
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.