When I caught a nasty bug in September, my doctor said that I could fight the virus with star anise and steaming my sinuses. I left his office and drove myself to Irving Street in search of pho bo, specifically, a heavily spiced southern style.
I wound up at Kevin's Noodle House with a small bowl of Dac Biet Pho Bo Vien, $6.50. Not my usual style, this had everything in it with steak ordered on the side outside the dark-colored and very anise-y scented soup stock. Kevin makes a bold full-bore style with flavorful well-seasoned meats and lots of them. I would have liked more noodles to accompany the generous meat load. The soup got saltier from macerating at the table as I approached the bottom and the MSG became more apparent. But it did make for a very beefy flavor that could punch through to register on my attenuated taste buds.
Steam and star anise worked, my recovery started here.
Kevin's Noodle House #2
1833 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA 94122