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Jul 20, 2014 09:02 AM

vietnamese [Oakland]

Would like recommendations for Vietnamese in Oakland after the ball game Thanks

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      1. re: kc72

        Those are both great. Ba Le's mostly banh mi. Pho Ao Sen has a full menu.

        1. re: kc72

          Ao Sen is the best pho and bun I've sampled, and Ba Le has the best banh mi, and a handfull of other items on the menu. However, be aware that most of the East Oakland places shut down by about 7:30 pm. I think Ao Sen lists 8:30 as their closing time, but have been closed or closing around 8 pm a couple times I tried to stop by.
          Banh Cuon Tay Ho and Binh Minh Quon downtown have more varied menus and are open later.
          Hounds have been talking up Sidestreet Pho in Alameda, but I haven't made it there yet.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Pho Ao Sen closes at 8 PM every day, even though their own Web site says 7 PM.

            2. re:

              I've only had one dish at Sidestreet Pho, but it was excellent. In the Park St. area of Alameda there are also Pho Sinh and Dragon Rouge, both of which are open later than the some of the places in Oakland. Dragon Rouge is a little more Americanized, but the setting by the water is nice and they have a full bar.

          1. Monster Pho on Broadway at 40th. I think they are open til 9:00...closed on Tuesdays. Pho, bun, banh mi...great sevice and very clean.

            10 Replies
            1. re: phwib

              I tried Monster Pho for the first time the other night. Got regular sized beef pho w/ meatballs and rare steak. It was pretty good. Broth was highlight, not too salty, rich flavors. Noodle portion was kind of skimpy, and meat came out already pretty well-cooked (not at all rare).

              Also had veggie fresh spring rolls, which were great. Lots of crunchy lettuce and pickled veggies inside, plus tofu and noodles. Their dipping sauce is really nice's peanut sauce, but has coconut in it as well. This might have been my favorite aspect of the meal.

              Neighboring table got banh xeo that looked really good and crispy, so that might be worth a try next time. Prices are reasonable, though not super cheap.

              Dave MP

              1. re: phwib

                if their online menu is accurate, Monster Pho is fairly unique in its genre -- they've declared that their premises are completely peanut free.

                1. re: moto

                  Huh, interesting. So maybe the sauce I had wasn't peanut? It thought it tasted peanutty, but I guess I could have been confusing some combo of hoisin/sesame/coconut flavors with peanut?

                  1. re: Dave MP

                    depending on how the sesame or coconut or their oils were processed (oil from roasted sesame very different than from unroasted, for example), yes they would render flavours that could pass for different nuts (or legumes in the case of the peanut). the coconut butter at the eat real festival tasted like it had another nut combined with it, but it did not -- its proteins and fats were altered in the grinding (stone mill) process.

                    1. re: moto

                      I ordered some banh mi to go at Monster Pho today.

                      It was completely full at 1:00pm with
                      lots of happy pho eaters.

                      Kinda strange and confusing is that the $7 banh mi sandwich is actually two sandwiches.
                      Each a little smaller than "normal"size.

                      They are custom made in the back with freshly grilled beef,chicken or pork.

                      Very tasty and authentically flavored in a up scale way.

                      Thumbs up!

                      MONSTER PHO
                      3905 Broadway, Oakland, California


                      1. re: Mission

                        we went there for brunch a little before noon. mi espousa querida enjoyed her pho with beef tendon, tripe, meatball. my banh xeo was delicately prepared and generous in serving -- ate only half, supplemented by a sampling portion of the pho. considerably closer to our front door, brighter and cheerier than most of the other pho houses just east of the lake or in C-town. the rice plates described on the menu look like they'd be a good brunch as well, but didn't see anyone in the place without a bowl of pho except me.

                    2. re: Dave MP

                      Fried Shallots can imitate Peanut Flavor as well as Roasted Soy Beans.

                  2. re: phwib

                    Tried Monster Pho last night. Wasn't in the mood for pho so we split most of the other items.

                    Shrimp spring rolls were nice. We asked about the sauce, the I assume owner said they experimented for four months to come up with a sweet rice-based alternative to peanut sauce. It also has some hoi sin. No sesame.

                    Grilled pork banh mi were good, not up there with Ba Le, could have used some sliced jalapeños.

                    Grilled chicken with rice was pretty good.

                    Banh xeo was OK but kind of bland. I'm going to have to make a pilgrimage to that place at Grand Century Mall.

                    The best thing was a free small bowl of chicken broth. I wouldn't order the other stuff again but I'll go back to try the pho.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Monster definitely has jalapeño slices available. Ask, if they forget.

                      If you're heading to SJ for Banh Xeo, give Banh Xeo Ngon a try. Somewhat new place that has a lot of varieties including ones made with Pandan batter (think the green waffles).

                      They have a great basket of greens with lettuce, perilla, mint, fish mint (diep ca!), and some Asian mustard greens. As a bonus (for me) No cilantro or variants (rau ram) without having to ask. May not be a bonus for others . . .

                      Banh Xeo Ngon
                      3005 Silver Creek Rd
                      San Jose, CA

                    2. re: phwib

                      I’d been worried that Monster Pho was one of those “too cleaned up”, less flavorful places for some reason (maybe the no peanuts proclamation), but was very pleased with the combination bun I got from Monster Pho. I particularly liked the imperial roll, which had more and more flavorful pork than versions I’ve had recently. All the grilled meats (chicken, pork, beef) were well seasoned and grilled. The only slight disappointment were the shrimp, which were just a bit blah flavorwise and texturally. I wouldn’t hesitate to stop in again.