A Spicy, Dense Bowl of Pho

daveena’s new favorite pho is the number 26 at the 10th Street branch of Pho Hoa Lao. It’s pho bo kho—a spicier, oilier, dense soup that’s pretty much nothing like your usual clear bowl of pho. It’s got tender, delicious beef and a red slick of spicy oil. The beef has the texture of pork shoulder after it’s been slow-roasted for eight hours—it’s absurdly tender, with lots of lovely gelatinous bits. And you can get it with either the standard skinny rice noodles (called pho noodles), or egg noodles (called mi).

Some folks think the 10th Street branch is slightly better than the International Boulevard branch; others think they’re about the same.

twocents is a huge pho bo kho fan. In his book, Pho Hoa Lao is quite good, but his favorites are Kang Nam and Kim Huong. Kang Nam’s version is rich and turmeric-y, with a great deal of body. Kim Huong’s version is similar. “I am a fool for beef stew noodles,” he says.

Pho Hoa Lao [East Bay]
333 10th Street, Oakland
510-763-8296

Pho Hoa Lao [East Bay]
720 International Boulevard, Oakland
510-451-6888

Kang Nam Pho [East Bay]
4419 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland
510-985-0900

Kim Huong [East Bay]
304 10th Street, Oakland
510-836-3139

Board Link: #26 at Pho Hoa Lao (Oakland)–my new favorite pho

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