This little gem just opened up a little over a month ago. Haven't seen any posts in regards to it so far.
As my friend and I entered, we both noticed that the scent in the air was decadent. We both sad that it was a good sign of a good soup base. We saw only 2 other tables filled with people, eeks. I happened to know one of the guys at one of the tables, took that as a good sign. We sat down and took a look at the menu. They offered a nice selection of bun, rice dishes, stir-frys, and even a kids' menu. I ordered the house special, but can't remember which one she ordered. The special came in 2 sizes, I opted for the large, not the xtra. Now let me explain something about thier sizing. I glanced over at the next table and saw this humongous soup bowl that I had never seen at any other pho place. I asked our waiter what size that was, he said xtra large. He pointed to another table and showed me what the large was. Their large is what the largest size bowl is in most pho places. The extra large was so huge! The waiter promptly told us that they wanted to be known as the place with the largest bowl of pho that you can order. So far I think they win.
Onto the food. I asked for my rare beef on the side, no problem and when it did come, I noticed how beautiful the cuts were, beautiful red, nice and thin and oh so fresh. The bowl had ample amounts of the various meats. The tripe was cut thinner than I've had in any other place. The meat balls were not of the standard varieties, but were from a larger meatball cut into wedges. They also use the beef ball with tendon variety. In regards to the veggies, ample amounts of bean sprouts and basil. One thing I was disappointed in was that they gave us lemon wedges. But as far as I have been noticing, it appears that limes have not been very good lately (according to other CH posts). My friend says that she grew up eating pho with lemons, it just depends. Well, it was onto the soup. My friend took a sip and soon proclaimed that it was very good. So good in fact that she now thinks it is her preferred place. As soon as I took my sip, I was in agreement. We both agreed that we liked it better than Pho Kimmy, as it is less greasy and not as 'strong' but just right.
She also had a cup of coconut milk/juice. It was not fresh, but it was also not from a can. I took a sip and found it quite tasty. Finally, they also include a nice bowl of tapioca and something, which I forget what it is. But it was yellow with small bits of tapioca and served warm. I've also had it in some Chinese restaurants. Very nice little added touch.
All in all, was very tasty and can't wait to go back. Have already told some other friends too and they are excited, especially to try the extra large bowl of pho.
Pho Saigon Vietnamese Noodle House
11668 South St.
Artesia, CA 90701