Best Pho in the Bay

    If you ask me a few weeks ago, which place has the best pho in the Bay Area outside of San Jose, I would not give a straight answer. I would instead say that the speediest pho is at Le petit Cheval on Bancroft, at most 5 minutes after ordering and a bowl is steaming up your nose; the most spacious pho restaurant is Phở Vỉ Hoa in Los Altos; the lowest price of a sliced beef number is about $6; and upon slurping you usually can’t escape a tightened, salty lingering at the back of the throat, reminiscence of the seasoning package that comes with your instant $1 pho.

    If you ask me now, I’d say without hesitance: Le Regal has the best pho in the Bay, and possibly one of the best I’ve ever had I still don’t have the answer yet: UPDATE on October 15, 2011: Le Regal’s pho broth has become fatty and bland, it is now one of the worst pho I’ve ever had…

    The following is but a beautiful memory: 🙂

    The main reason for this definite conclusion is the lack of that post-slurping tightened, salty aftertaste. It does hurt my pocket a little paying $8-9 for a wad of thin, chewy noodle, a hefty plate of bean sprouts, and meat. But the broth is the deciding factor, and this broth is at least twice as good as any other broth outside San Jose.

    Inside San Jose, I haven’t ordered any pho. Cuz if you’re already in Vietnamese town, shame on you for sticking to only that one dish.

    Address: Le Regal
    2126 Center Street
    Berkeley, CA 94704
    (510) 845-4020

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    2 comments to Best Pho in the Bay

    • I’m surprised you didn’t mention that the texture of the beef balls was nice and crunchy. The tendon in the beef balls was visible and definitely noticeable, which is good if you like that. Few places have beef balls like that.

    • Crunchy beef balls? Count me in! Broth is definitely the deciding factor. Admittedly I only noshed on Phở occasionally in Vietnam but the best bowls have an almost butter-like flavor to them, if you catch my drift. Found a decent Mì Quảng spot?

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