Pho Bo Vang Vietnamese Restaurant

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We were thinking of a place to go for dinner when B remember this Pho restaurant he had been to. This tiny little restaurant sits on the corner of a tiny strip mall off a side street in Lake Forest. When we first walked in I looked at all the empty tables and wondered if they were struggling to make it.

The menu is pretty extensive considering the size of the place. 75 dishes to be exact.

Have you ever had Pho before?  Pho is an noodle soup from Vietnam.  

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When you order the soup the server brings out this gorgeous plate.  On here you see bean sprouts, basil, lime and green peppers.  These are given to you to add to your soup yourself.  Everyone likes their soup a certain way.  Me?  Well I throw everything in of course.

Lets talk pronunciation for a minute.   Its hard to explain so go ahead and check out this link, scroll to the bottom and click on the pronunciations.   Its much easier when you actually hear it.

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You’ll also find a selection of sauces to either add to your soup or use for your appetizers. Here is a mixture of sriracha (my favorite sauce ever), hoisin and some kind of tasty homemade chili sauce.

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B ordered the calamari to start. The strips of calamari steaks good if not just a bit too heavy for me. I suggest you try the Vietnamese egg rolls which is what we will get next time. 

At this point I looked around and realized the place was packed! 

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Then the moment we were waiting for… the pho. I got the #4 which is rare top sirloin and well done flank and brisket in the broth itself. B had the #6 which is all that plus tendon and tripe. Yes, he likes those gelatinous additions. In the picture B has already loaded his soup up with all the fixin’s and displayed it for me before he dug in.

Did you notice that the beef looks raw in the center? Thats because its actually raw when they place it on your dish and it is so thin it cooks when you dunk it in your broth.

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This was mine, I wasn’t patient enough for a pretty picture.

The broth was to die for. I wanted to jump and marinate in it. Is that weird? The depth of flavor is hard to describe. A mixture of beef and possibly pork? broth simmered for hours. You get the flavors of those fresh ingredients in addition to the cilantro, onion and various pieces of beef. My favorite part are the hints of exotic spices like star anise and ginger. There broth is such a perfect balance of flavors.

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At the bottom of your bowl you find the rice noodles. They’ve been sitting there soaking up that flavor and waiting for you. We will definitely be back for more!

Pho Bo Vang
23764 Mercury Road
Lake Forest, CA 92630
(949) 707-5768

4 Comments so far

  1. pittrollie on September 4th, 2009 @ 8:01 am

    Looks and sounds delicious! Your photos are great!


  2. Simone (unregistered) on September 4th, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

    Boo has been talking so much about pho and how in Little Tokyo (in L.A.) they are known for having the best Vietnamese restaurants. I think that he and I might need to make a trek down there just so that he can show me. I have never had pho but after seeing your pictures, I’m totally wanting to. Yum!!


  3. Jon (oc_jon) on September 5th, 2009 @ 10:13 am

    I just can’t get behind Pho… and I have tried many because lets face it, I live Little Saigon adjacent and there aren’t that many choices.


  4. phofever (unregistered) on September 9th, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

    You can find Pho Bo Bang and many others in our Pho Restaurant Directory:
    http://www.phofever.com/restaurants.php?rid=57



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