Friday night we grabbed a late dinner at Pho Cong Ly in downtown San Jose. It's in the former venue of the sorely missed Nha Toi.
I had the #1 Pho Gourmet with oxtail, beef shank, filet mignon and tongue made with slithery fresh rice noodles, $10.75 (regular size). The oxtail was fatty and fall-off-the-bone tender. Beef shank was lightly spiced and thinly sliced. Filet mignon was tender and mostly stayed rare as the beef stock was not as super-heated as other spots. The tongue was a single long and thin strip that was soft-ish.
My brother ordered #15 with beef meatballs and tendon, $8.75 (regular). The meatballs tasted deeply beefy and were somewhat coarser in texture and not so rubbery. We both liked them a lot. The bowl was missing the tendon, and the kitchen made up for the mistake by sending out a small bowl packed with chewy strips of tendon in steamy beef broth. He paid the $2 supplement for fresh rice noodles, so our orders turned out to be the same price.
The beef broth's very tasty here, good beefiness and just lightly spiced, no sweetness and no obvious MSG. My single complaint here would be that the herb plate did not have saw tooth herb.
Prices are a bit high, but commensurate with the extra quality served up here. Monday through Thursday, there's a happy hour discount of 15% from 3pm to 5pm. And SJSU students get a 10% discount any time.
Pho Cong Ly
460 E William St
San Jose, CA 95112
Daily 9am to 10pm