Kirbie's Cravings

Shank & Bone

photo of shaken beef dish served at Shank & Bone
Shank & Bone recently opened in San Diego, serving a mix of classic and modern Vietnamese dishes.

photo of the outside of Shank & Bone restaurant
We were very eager to check this place out and had a wonderful first experience.

The restaurant has a mix of small tables and bar seating. It’s decorated with vintage bikes, a map of former Saigon, and a print of Revolution Girl . I was especially excited for all the natural light let in from the floor to ceiling windows and open-air design.
photo of the inside of the restaurant

Bánh xèo Tacos

photo of Bánh xèo Tacos
Banh xeo, sometimes referred to as Vietnamese crepes, are sizzling savory cakes made of rice flour. They are usually filled with pork, shrimp, sprouts and herbs.
close-up photo of Bánh xèo Tacos
This taco version was a fun twist on the traditional. I liked the small individual servings. The crepes were quite crispy around the edges and the filling was wonderfully fragrant.

Signature Pho S&B

overhead photo of a bowl of Signature Pho S&B
Of course we had to try their signature pho. Inside this bowl was a mix of oxtail, steak, brisket and bone marrow. The clear bone broth was poured tableside, which was a nice little touch.

The plate of garnishes were of the typical variety.
photo of plate of garnishes
I really liked the broth. It was light yet flavorful and aromatic. Unlike most of the pho I’ve had, the broth did not taste laden with sodium and msg. I also appreciated that the noodles were broken up, making them easier to eat. At many restaurants, the noodles are stuck together in one large clump.

Goi cuon

photo of Goi cuon
We also tried their classic pork and shrimp spring rolls. In hindsight, I wish I had tried their seafood version as I’ve had pork and shrimp countless times and the seafood option, made with fish and shrimp, is a little more unique. The spring rolls were good, though they did not vary much from the classic and so they weren’t quite as exciting as some of the other dishes we had.

Grilled Calamari

photo of Grilled Calamari
The grilled squid reminded me of the food I get at night markets. I enjoyed the light smoky flavor infused from the grilling.

Shaken Beef

Tender pieces of filet mignon served with salad and broken rice. It was a solid dish and I particularly enjoyed the firm and chewy texture of the broken rice. However, the shaken beef tasted fairly similar to other versions I’ve had.

Overall, we had a delicious first visit here. I was impressed with how smoothly the restaurant was operating despite how busy it was and the fact that they just opened. I’m used to slower service, kitchen issues, etc, during soft opening but I didn’t experience any of that. Our server was very sweet and attentive and we enjoyed everything we tried. We definitely plan on coming back soon to try more of the menu.

photo of the first part of the menu
photo of the second part of the menu

Shank & Bone
2930 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104



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6 comments on “Shank & Bone”

  1. Where are the other pho places which do not use much MSG? I have been searching all around town.

  2. This place took the spot of the now defunct Safe House. The banh xeo tacos look inteersting!

  3. Nice Kirbie – Unfortunately I really didn’t care for the S&B Pho;the broth was really weak; the noodles over-cooked, not sure what the point of the marrow was as it turned into a white glob of fat…..the version of Bo Tai Chanh was ok though.

    • Oh no! I didn’t really care for the marrow either–could have done without it and saved a few bucks, but we really liked the broth we had and the noodles weren’t overcooked for us. Perhaps they still are working out some kitchen kinks.