In my quest to find the best pho in Orange County I'm revisiting some local favorites. Local as in 15 minutes or less from my work. I actually found Pho Ba Co a few years ago on the hunt for ramen within this same radius. I saw the $10 bowl a few doors down and pretty much turned around when the Tonkatsu was extra and the things I wanted would bring my total to $15 for just the ramen. Walking away, shaking my head in disbelieve I stumbled upon another, different golden broth'd palace of equal stature in my eyes. Some pho places don't like to have their pho specifically to go and the reason is covering pho will spoil the broth. Protip: let it cool uncovered to room temp, then place in refrigerator. Unlike most they nicely separate everything here, but don't particularly like the raw thinly sliced beef in a baggie when ordering to go. I do like their baggie having everything you need, just not the right proportions. Barely any hot sauce, or hoisin. Spring rolls are a little basic and the dipping sauce is a little weak, not impressed. Egg rolls, overcooked and not packed tightly enough, fell apart (not enough egg). The pho broth was a little oily, middle of the road in terms of clarity, but lacked the complexity. Maybe hit it with the double spice bag. Something that I found when I let cool and stored was the amount of fat, definitely not skimmed after paraboiling. I think I mask it with the loads of spice and hoisin and other things Service is good, but all in all I like the overall experience of Pho So 1 in terms of my lunch radius for pho. It's a large location, hidden and doesn't stand out next to other ho hum shops, it's certainly expanded due to the split bathrooms and décor. No thumb in soup bowl. Vermicelli noodles were fresh, but not tossed for my to go order, rice is sometimes undercooked and not quite as broken as I'd like, again I tend to overspice as a counter measure. I do really like their chicken, charred to perfection, well marinated. The beef BBQ is really good cut and flavor. Cheap drinks.
Got a large bowl of pho with extra noodles and one of their speciality boba drinks. All in all pretty good for about $15 before tip. The music here is the kind of faux epic ballads you come to expect from karaoke bars is southeast Asia. The service is not the greatest. If you want to ask for napkins, refill water or get the check, do so well before you need to. There will be a wait. Mid-level quality place to visit on your lunch break. I even come here sometimes on my days off. It's basic pho and it is delicious. Family atmosphere in a strip mall.
At one point, this place was the best pho joint in Irvine. That doesn't say much but they have pretty flavorful broth. The only part I didn't like about their pho was unusually large pho noodle but I think that has changed now.
Nice Vietnamese place to have a quick lunch during your work day. The cashier and kitchen are quick to get your order out to you. It's a nice place to have a nice warm bowl of pho noodles, soup and meat. There's also an upstairs seating area if the downstairs is full.
This place was great. One of the best service in any Pho restaurant that I have been to. Price per bowl is slightly pricey but what isn't in Irvine. Love that u can add two eggrolls for a buck to your meal. Highly recommended but took a star off for the crappy parking availability.