The price is right: $3.99 for a small bowl or $4.99 for a large bowl.
You get your choice of any combination of flank, brisket, tendon, rare steak and tripe.
The vegetables are not pristine like in other pho places, with blemishes on the basil and some of the bean sprouts not perfectly white. There’s nothing wrong with them, though, other than appearance. And the lemon wedges were very soft and full of fresh juice.
The large bowl is not gigantic like in some places, where you seemingly get a gallon of soup. But it was plenty of food for me for lunch. The noodles are clumped up initially, but as you pick away at them, they separate easily. Actually, since they are clumped, it allows the cook to fit in more meat.
And you get quite a bit of meat. I really enjoyed the brisket. It tasted like the slow-roasted kind my grandmother makes.
Of course all broths are different, and here it’s not as full-flavored as, say, Pho So 1 or the pho place just north of downtown on Broadway. But it’s also not Viet Noodle Bar, with its pho that tastes like chicken soup. I like all of these….they’re just different. Here the flavor is more along the lines of Pho So 1, just not as pungent.
And for $4.99, they had quite a crowd. Considering they just opened in October, I was impressed to see 8 of their 10 tables full for a 12:30 lunch on a Thursday.
Oh, and they also have a banh mi special: a banh mi sandwich and a canned soda for $4.99.
5229 Hollywood (at Harvard in the old Thai Angel Café space)