Kirbie's Cravings

Pho Cow Cali Express

Pho Cow Cali Express
9170 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126
(858) 271-8341

In my search for a new go to Vietnamese pho spot, several people recommended I try Pho Cow Cali Express. After looking it up, I am surprised I didn’t try this place sooner. It’s quite highly rated and popular on yelp.

So this weekend, off we went to try Pho Cow.  When we got there, there was a waiting list. This was the first time I’d been to a pho place with a wait. Luckily, the wait was only a few minutes, and soon we were seated.

Everyone pretty much stuck to their standard order.

We also ordered some eggrolls. The eggrolls came out pretty as a picture. Each eggroll was fried a nice golden color. The eggrolls here are a bit longer than the ones I get at most places. They use the chinese wrapper, which I know isn’t authentic, but I like it anyway. The filling was just right. Not too salty. Not too bland. Out of all the pho places I’ve tried the last few months, these were my favorite eggrolls.

We all ordered some variation of the pho, so the pictures would look pretty much the same, so I only took a few.

The garnishes included the saw leaf herb, which I love using.

One thing I noticed about the pho here is that there was a lot of meat. Usually, I only get a few pieces of the rare steak, but I got quite a bit here. The broth was pretty flavorful too. The only bad thing was the tripe, which was so hard, it was barely edible.

Overall, I really enjoyed this place. I can see why it is so popular. I wish they hadn’t overcooked the tripe, but this has been the best pho place I’ve had in a while. It may become my new go-to spot, but there are a few others I need to check out first.

After I paid, I saw on that with my receipt I could get a frozen yogurt next door for .25/oz. I am always up for a new frozen yogurt place. I loved how cute the character/mascot was for Yogurt Swirl. It looks a bit like a hamster character.

This place had a lot of my favorite flavors including green tea, taro, and coconut. They also had my multi colored mochi bites.

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16 comments on “Pho Cow Cali Express”

  1. Pingback: Pho Cow Cali Express | Online REL

  2. I really liked the eggrolls here. Seems like there are quite a few good pho places in the Mira Mesa area.

  3. This used to be my favorite pho place (old name) before I started going to Lucky Pho. I’ve always liked their eggrolls which seemed to have more flavor than any other places.

  4. Thanks for the research info!

  5. It’s hard to eat out at all during Lent isn’t it? BF always has a hard time.

  6. I was surprised that on this visit, no one came to take our order until we flagged down someone. I’m so used to the waiter coming about 2 seconds after I sit down.
    I still have never tried bun. I need to try it at some point. I’ll check out pho ca dao next.

  7. hi kirbie – the pho ca dao in mira mesa is a lot nicer and cleaner. the one on el cajon is kinda gross and grimy.
    i’ve blogged pho hoa cali before (haven’t beenthere in a few years so i didn’t know about the name change). their waiters all dress in the same color shirts and expectyou to know what you want as soon as you sit down. ha ha. standard.
    what i liked about pho hoa cali was the fact that they put fried pieces of pork fat in their bun.

  8. I remember eating here a while back during lent last year. BAD IDEA haha. Everything looked so good but I wasnt able to eat anything since I had given up meat. Their vermicelli noodles are good from what I remember. Definitely gotta head back here again when I’m craving pho.

  9. Pho Ca Dao is good to! I haven’t had their pho but maybe you will get better tripe there? I don’t like their peanut sauce; it tastes and feels watered down compared to Pho Cow Cali’s.
    Yay, glad you liked Pho Cow Cali. 🙂

  10. I did a little research and yes, it was Pho Hoa Cali. From their website: “In 2009 Ph? Hoa Cali has changed its name to Ph? Cow Cali due to trademark and its future franchise, independently-owned restaurant.”

  11. Pho Ca Dao is next on my list! I passed by it and yelped it and it has even more reviews than this place. Glad to hear it’s your go to spot. I like the discount on the yogurt too. 25 cents is the cheapest I’ve seen.

  12. I think the name is funny too. But definitely one I remember, whereas I get all the other ones mixed up. I’m surprised you haven’t tried this place out yet. You’ve done so many pho posts.

  13. I never visited this place previously, but I’ve heard from several people that it used to be Pho Hoa Cali. I don’t know if just the name changed or what. I love the multicolored mochi too! I’m always looking for them. Not enough places serve them.

  14. I’m not Kirbie, but yes, this place used to be Pho Hoa Cali, and is in the same (general) strip mall as Bamboo Hut. I don’t know when they changed the name. The one in RB (near the El Torito) used to be Pho Hoa Cali, but now it’s called something like Pho Cali Express.
    I haven’t been to this place in ages (or at least since the name change). Our go-to pho restaurant is Pho Ca Dao.
    Anyway, it’s good to know that you can get a discount at the yogurt place, and that the yogurt place has mochi.

  15. Hi Kirbie, cool I’ve been wanting to try this place. I always thought the name was funny but I guess it sticks.

  16. hi kirbie – didn’t this place used to be called Pho Hoa Cali? i think it’s in the same strip mall as bamboo hut?
    ooh, i love the multicolored mini mochi pieces. 🙂