Long ago (April 2006), “stuart” recommended Pho Kong Ly (sic) and we never heard anything more about this spot.
Searching around the street coordinates he provided turned up Pho Ba Dau aka Pho Ba Dau Cong Ly. The specialty pho here is #1 Dac Biet Cong Ly that includes rare filet mignon, oxtail and beef shank, as listed on this menu page. I also asked about #2 Pho Do Bien Chua Cay described as bouillabaisse, only to be informed that it’s not available anymore.
So, #1 for me, and my server insisted that I order the medium size ($8.95) or something would be absent. While I didn’t understand him entirely, I went with his suggestion as well as requesting the tai filet to be served on the side.
When the plate of veggie garnishes came out, I couldn’t help but smile on seeing saw-tooth herb, as shown here.
Equally pleasing was this dish of raw filet mignon slices, a bigger portion when served on the side.
While I nearly always order tai on the side to keep it from getting overcooked in the hot pho stock, this was the first time I’d been given an auxiliary bowl of stock for rinsing and warming.
The medium-size bowl turned out to be enormous, probably close to what others serve as a large. Very slurpable fresh rice noodles were a treat, and went step for step with the high quality tai filet, tasty and tender slices of beef shank, and the unctuously rich fall-off-the-bone oxtail. The light, unspiced Ha Noi style broth tasted minerally but less beefy and intense than Turtle Tower’s, for example.
Meats, noodles, garnishes, everything about this bowl was quite excellent but for the broth and I wonder if it might have more oomph on another day. With the surcharge for tai, tax and tip, this lunch was nearly $13. At that price, the whole thing should satisfy. But I’m sure I’ll be back, and I’d be interested in hearing from others who've been here.
Pho Ba Dau Cong Ly
1939 Alum Rock Ave
San Jose, CA
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