it happens to me a lot that i'll be in an unfamiliar neighborhood, looking for a bite to eat, driving around and racking my brains for any bit of info i might have read on chowhound.
so i was in little saigon looking for a bowl of pho, and completely lost. randomly chose pho bolsa on magnolia. i usually look for a place that has a fair amount of people inside, and this place did considering the hour.
i got the pho tai, which was pretty unremarkable... the broth was a dark brown color but with no flavor at all. the meat was tough and it didn't help that it was sliced about twice as thick as any other place i've had pho. the herbs on the veggie plate were looking a bit wilted.
i will say that there were two things that set this bowl of pho apart: the portion of meat was larger than anywhere else i've ever seen, especially because of the thickness of the slices of meat. i couldn't finish it. the other thing is the broth did not have a spot of grease on it... i know this is important to some people but i would sacrifice a little grease for a little flavor.
so where should i have gone instead? what matters to me most i suppose is a flavorful broth and good quality meat. if you guys help me out, i promise i'll make a list and print it out to keep in my car..