Is it worth going to PPQ if you're not going to order the crab?
I don't think so, especially given the complete name is PPQ Dungeness Island. The other items I've had that comes with the crab special are good but nothing special, garlic noodles, beef plate, spring roles, dessert, etc. The attraction really is the crab, huge servings of decent and compatible dishes.
The price for the two person special use to be $45-50...but there's enough food for 4 people except the crab. Get the special and order an extra crab and you have a pretty good deal for 4 people. It really is a pile of food.
Perhaps I'm wrong but I don't know what you'd order there that would warrant a solo trip.
re: Civil Bear
Not sure I agree that it's even the best pho on this block of Irving - I've been much happier with my trips to Pho Huynh Hiep/Kevin's Noodle House across the street. But I'm overdue for giving PPQ another try and I hear the bun is superior to their pho broths.
Funnily enough I had the same idea as the OP tonight (Scoutmob had a 50% off deal at the Clement PPQ that expired tonight). I went in solo around 6:30 hoping to get a cheap bowl of bun with imperial rolls, then left after seeing on their takeout menus that they don't even serve bun/pho after 5pm.
Can anyone corroborate the scattered Yelp reports that the Clement PPQ is under new management? That might explain why their website is down.
I'm not sure I agree. My initial instinct was to agree, as I'd certainly be sad leaving without having the crab and garlic noodles, but everything else ive had there has been quite good. In particular, I remember the braised green beans and sea bass being really tasty. I've also had bits if the grilled plates and they seem right on, too. The meathead eaters who have insisted on ordering them when there is delicious crab to be had have been mystified by the herbs, dip, and wrappers accompanying. I'm not sure it's well priced--the beans ate 10.95 which are slanted door type prices or if there are better Vietnamese aces in the immediate area, but I've found nothing wrong, and would say that for the type of dishes I've mentioned, have found only Bodega Bistro to be the equivalent. If anyone has other suggestions for this type of fresh, French-cal Vietnamese places I'd love to hear them. Not that I don't live banh mi, pho, and especially bun, but those seem well-covered by chowhound.
607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109