Pho Ca Dao
8373 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126
(858) 564-0917

After my visit to Pho Cow Cali, a couple of people told me about Pho Ca Dao, which is nearby and just as popular.  I finally got a chance to go check it out.

The first thing I noticed was that this place is a lot more friendly for people not used to pho. For example, the menu introduces people to pho, explaining all the ingredients, things to add in, take out, etc.

Here is the rest of the menu. Or parts of it. I somehow forgot some pages:

Little kids dining here can get helium balloons to take home. The service is also really good. Our waters were constantly refilled. I mean constantly. I don’t think I ever drank more than two sips before my water was refilled.

We ordered the eggrolls. The eggrolls were crispy and had a good flavor, though I like the ones at Pho Cow Cali better. I did like how they added pickled daikon and carrots.

I thought about trying something different, but ended up ordering my usual, #15, which has rare steak and tripe.

My steak was overcooked. It was already cooked when it reached the table. I also thought the quantity was smaller than most of the pho places I’ve been to. The broth was also a little on the salty side.

Here is a #1:

Little Bro’s gf originally order bun mang vit which is a duck bamboo soup. The waitress wasn’t sure she would like it and brought out a sample for her to try. The sample was pretty big.  I really enjoyed it but I know why others might not. It uses a bamboo that has a  stinky odor, which is often part of a lot of chinese dishes, though I can see people who are not used to it not liking it.  Perhaps next time I’ll try that dish instead.

BF decided to try a broken rice dish. We both thought everything was too salty.

I think this is the pho bo kho, which is a spicy beef stew pho.

While I liked the service here, I preferred the food at pho cow cali.Pho Ca Dao on Urbanspoon


12 Responses to “Pho Ca Dao”

  1. Sandy — October 28, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Ca Dao does make pho very accessible. Did you notice their motto – Real pho, Real service, Real Fast (or something like that)? I stopped ordering the rare steak whenever I have pho because it’s always overcooked. I’m not a big tripe fan so I usually have tendon and beef brisket.

    • Kirbie replied: — October 28th, 2010 @ 7:46 am

      I didn’t notice their motto! I’ll have to look for it next time. Usually my steak comes out pretty red and I have to worry about it cooking properly in the soup. I don’t usually have the opposite experience.

  2. Carol — October 28, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Hi Kirbie! I think the folks there are really nice but wish the food was a bit more consistant. A friend of mine who loves this place said she always asks for the rare steak on the side. Maybe that’s the way to go.

    • Kirbie replied: — October 28th, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

      Hm, never thought to ask for rare steak on the side! I do think they are super nice there though.

  3. Faye — October 28, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I didn’t think the food was that great there either. My Vietnamese friend loves this place which is weird b/c i always thought this place was really ‘Americanized’. Maybe b/c their menu was so pretty and colorful :)

    I tried their lemongrass grilled pork chop and it was decent but not great.

    Also tried their ground shrimp in bean curd (fried) and thought it was nicely done.

    Have you tried Bolsa (also in Mira Mesa)? That’s me and my sis’ go-to place in Mira Mesa when we want pho/broken rice/etc.

    Nice post!

    • Kirbie replied: — October 28th, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

      No! Never been! Now I have another place I must try out. I thought it seemed really Americanized with the menu as well.

  4. Sophie — October 28, 2010 at 10:06 am

    My friends and i usually got to pho ca dao. I really like the atmosphere and it seems cleaner than other pho places. We liked the egg rolls a lot. But now i want to try your other suggestion.

    • Kirbie replied: — October 28th, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

      You’ve never been to Pho Cow Cali? You should definitely check it out! I thought pho ca dao was alright. It is better than a lot of others I’ve been to. But so far my favorite is Pho Cow Cali. The eggrolls are bigger there too!

  5. caninecologne — October 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    bolsa is right across the street from Pho Cow Cali (formerl Pho Hoa Cali). the pho ca dao in mira mesa is also nice and clean, not like the one on university.

    • Kirbie replied: — October 28th, 2010 @ 11:41 pm

      Good to know. I didn’t notice Bolsa before. Glad to know the mira mesa location of pho ca dao is cleaner.

  6. Cyndi — January 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you for having pics of their menu!! It seems they have their menu posted absolutely no where and their website never works. :))


    • Kirbie replied: — January 6th, 2011 @ 9:52 am

      You’re welcome! I always try to take menu pics. It drives me crazy when I can’t see the menu for a restaurant before I visit.

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