I was ecstatic to discover a brand new pho shop, Pho Hien Vuong, that makes a mean bowl of Bun Bo Hue, a spicy, slightly sour noodle soup. This is one of my favorite comfort foods, so I was delighted to find a great rendition of it in a convenient location, at the corner of 65th and Stockton, in a new all-Asian shopping center (across from the one containing the SF Supermarket).
The restaurant seems to be a bit overwhelmed by the demand for certain dishes -- particularly the Bun Bo Hue and the seafood-based noodle soups. The first time I went, the Bun Bo had run out by 1 pm. The second time, at 12 pm, I was told they had run out, but then they ended up bringing out a new batch just in the nick of time. The waiter explained that the kitchen is still trying to figure out how to churn out the Bun Bo quickly enough, as it's the restaurant's specialty and it's time-consuming to make.
The soup's broth is beef and pork based, but it contains a hint of the sea (fish sauce or shrimp paste, I expect) plus a lot of peppery spice and some lime, perhaps tamarind, and some mystery flavors. The meats in the soup are varied, and included some thin slices of rare steak, as well as some more gristly meats. The noodles in the bun bo is a thicker variety than pho noodles, nice and toothsome.
On my first visit, I also had the special pho, which was pretty standard pho, but the broth was good.
Another treat is the avocado shake. It's the perfect creamy, cold antidote (but not too rich) to the spicy noodle soup.
Go early and check it out!
Pho Hien Vuong
6835 Stockton Blvd. #400
PS, the new shopping center also includes another noodle shop that I haven't tried yet, as well as a store that contains both a Boba Tea shop and a duck specialty place, all under one roof. I tried the duck place and found it to be pretty unremarkable. It looks like there will be a bakery opening soon as well.