I really really really wanted to love this place. And I still might. But I really didn't love what I had yesterday. Tolerable? Yes. Heart palpitations? No.
We got there about 9 pm and the place was packed. Not only with patrons, but also with waitstaff and others. Also, the smells coming around the corner as we walked down were great.
I ordered the beef pho and he ordered the shaking beef. We started with the summer rolls. They were okay. Ingredients were fresh, satisfying and light. Peanut sauce was eh. The wrapper was way too chewy and thick though. Like they accidently used 2-3 wrappers stuck together. Or maybe they wrapped it, and left it out for a minute too long.
The pho came and it smelled good enough. First, there was not nearly enough basil on the plate but whatever. The thinly sliced beef was good. The noodles were okay. But the broth (isn't that what pho is all about?) was....sweet. I can't tell you what it was, but there was no beef-y taste so the strongest taste to the broth was sweet. Maybe I'm just spoiled, eating at Pho 76 in Chinatown every week. But it was not good. I didn't even finish it and was still hungry after.
I should have ordered the shaking beef. Though not tneder, it had good beef taste and was cooked to a nice medium-ish. The watercress I especially liked. The slaw, not so much. P said the rice was strange, like couscous. I didn't have any, so can't say.
Service was a bit chaotic but well intentioned. I'll give it another try in a few weeks.