In the last year I have stopped eating meat. I thought that this meant I would have to give up Pho, one of my favorite things in the world. Everytime I tried veggie Pho at a standby place like Pho 84, I ended up with low-flavor noodle soup. Nothing terrible, but certainly nothing worth going out to eat.
Last month I was in Walnut Creek with my mom and we stopped by Da Lat Vietnamese Cuisine on Locust Street. (the street number is 1353 Locust Street) We weren't too hungry so we ordered a vegetable Pho and some Rice Wrapper spring rolls. Expecting nothing to exciting, we settled down to nice tea in a cute suburban setting.
After about 4 minutes out come plates with perfect little spring rolls--tofu, cilantro, a nice simple hoisin dipping sauce. These ubiquitous rolls are usually good in Vietnamese restaurants, so I wasn't really impressed.
But then, out comes the bowl of Pho. Lots of crisp veggies in a lite and very flavorful broth. I suspect it was a Chicken and Seafood broth, but I can't be sure. On the side they brought a plate of crisp bean sprouts, cilantro, chili paste, lime and hoisin. We dumped it all in, stirred it up, and ate the best Veggie Pho I have ever had.
I live in Berkeley, so getting to Walnut Creek is kind of a hassle, but if you are out there, check it out.