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Jun 17, 2012 03:49 PM

Beef Pho and Limey Lemonade at Little Vietnam [Inner Richmond, SF]

On my way to pick up some kitchen accessories at Kamei, I stopped into Little Vietnam, just around the corner on 6th and close to the Schubert's Bakery princess cake danger zone. The fog had already pulled over the Inner Richmond, so I asked after the five or six types of soups on the menu. The clerk recommended beef pho. While they seem to do more business in sandwiches here, I think the pho is better quality.

I ordered the small, which was pretty large for about $7. With a huge lemonade served in a mason jar, the tab came to $10 with tax. The broth had a heavy star anise flavor, with a hint of sweet onion and a sense of robust fattiness though there was no oil floating in the broth. This is Hue-style, with lots of lemongrass and bone flavor to lift and deepen the broth. Not a ton of meat, though a good selection of cuts. The lemonade had a strong lime flavor and a few mint springs floating in the jar.

Across the street, Aroma tea shop is now advertising cups of tea for carryout--$3 per cup. I bought a bag of my favorite oolong, the sweet, nutty Blue People.

Little Vietnam
309 6th Avenue (Inner Richmond)
San Francisco

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  1. Love the fresh mint in there! I've never understood why it says lemonade on Vietnamese menus -- it seems always to be made of lime (the few times I've had it in SF and everywhere at home in YVR), which is great.

    3 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      I know, huh? They are great. I would say though that mine have not across the board been lime-ades--some were lemon or made with what tasted like powdered lemonade.

      1. re: pane

        I would send those back ;-). We had a dark period here a while ago when some places started serving pho with lemons because limes increased dramatically in cost but no one skimped on the limes in the "lemonade" or da chanh -- I wonder if there is a regional difference or what accounts for these variations. I must admit I've never been able to get my head around chanh moui (the salty version).

        1. re: grayelf

          Ooooooo! Love salted lemon soda but not as much as the salty plum soda. So refreshing when it's hot out (all 3 days in the Richmond).