Pho Hong Long in Long Beach is the best I've had. Period.
If you've tried beef noodle soup in Garden Grove, Westminster or West L.A., then you haven't experienced a good bowl of Pho like this one. Its on the corner of Anaheim Road and Redondo Ave. across from the Ralphs market. I had the chance to go to Saigon last year and tried Pho there and it sucked because of the lack of quality in the ingredients of the broth and noodles.
I've eaten at many Pho restaurants in Little Saigon in OC. They always taint the broth of large amounts of MSG, therefore, leaving you with a bad headache and a nasty taste in the throat. The restaurant has a 20+ minute wait on weekends and I always try to get there before 10:30am. One time we came late and had to wait an hour and 15 minutes after our orders were taken to get a bowl. They have a lady cook barking out soup numbers in the tiny kitchen. The strength in flavour comes from high quality stock. The depth of flavour is exceptional. Star anise, braised onions and plenty of garlic with beef bones is simmered for a day and then its settled. Then most of the fat is rendered off. My friend says the thin slices of raw steak they put on the noodles is the best he's had so far. The ca fe sua da I had last week wasn't very good or fresh.
I've seen all types here. Gay guys nursing there tummies after a long night of partying, lots of Viet and Cambodian families, burly construction workers out to lunch, business men with their papers. I highly recommend this but you have to put up with the unfriendly Soup-Nazi type service. Leave your smiles at the door at this hole-in-the-wall. I think they close at 3pm 6 days a week.