After some not so great pho visits lately, one might think I would take a break from pho. But I forged on to find a good bowl of pho. My search finally ended at Pho 54. Too bad it's in San Jose.
I've been to Pho 54 once before, but I don't really remember the food.
The menu at Pho 54 is pretty limited. Other than pho, and a few rice dishes, they don't offer much more. I'm always a bit taken aback when I open a pho menu in the Bay Area. They tend to be about a dollar more in price compared to San Diego. At Pho 54, a regular bowl was $6.20 and a large was $7.20 or something close to that.
The first good sign that I would be getting a good bowl of pho was the garnishes. Not only did they offer the saw cilantro leaves (which I believe is called ngo gai), but the plates were heaped with garnishes. This is a picture of one plate.
You can barely see the basil and sprouts since it is sitting on top of a mound of the cilantro. We had two plates of these garnishes for six people. There was enough to stir fry a dish of herbs.
The broth looked a bit light in color, but the flavor was strong and beefy and tasted better than my last few pho experiences in San Diego.
Here's some pictures of the various bowls of pho my family ordered.
Not much else to say. The noodles were cooked just right. There was plenty of meat, tendons, flank, etc. The broth tasted rich and beefy. The service was your typical pho restaurant service.