I love phở. So when I heard about a Northern-style specialist opening, I knew I had to check it out! Apparently this is related to a well-known restaurant in Vietnam? Allegedly.
I arrived roughly 45 minutes after opening on a Sunday, and I was 4th in line on the waitlist. Took about 10-15 minutes to be seated, but the menu is brief, and I was able to order quickly.
Looking around, the restaurant interior is nice and inviting, but I don’t know how long the white leather chairs will stay white; already I saw the side of one at a neighboring table covered in a streak of spilled sriracha! White leather chairs in a restaurant seems like a pretty aggressive aesthetic choice. They’re comfortable, but not likely to last long.
I ordered the #2 (Phở Tái lăn Truyền Thống) and a side of egg poached in broth (Chén hột gà). Iced or hot tea is free of charge, and I ordered hot.
I noticed that there is a jar of pickled garlic on the table along with the standard sriracha and hoisin sauces:
Food came quite quickly! Here’s what it looks like upon arrival:
So how does it taste? Quite good! I’m pretty sure this is my first experience with Northern-style phở, so I don’t have much of a comparative basis, but one can immediately see the difference with the bountiful green onions bathing in the broth. The aroma is quite different, too; I did not taste any anise; instead the broth is imbued with garlic and ginger.
The #2 is what Phở Thìn is known for, as the thinly-sliced beef has been quickly stir-fried with garlic before being added to the broth. The noodles were also tasty, and they’re of the wider, flatter variety. I did appreciate that this is a well-balanced bowl of phở – some places really overdo it with an obscene volume of noodles. This is NOT a large bowl, but it is a filling bowl of sensible portion size.
I love me some garlic, so I did add a copious amount of the pickled garlic condiment; it didn’t really need it, but as I just said, I love garlic! Broth was well-seasoned with salt and pepper, and I’d have been very satisfied with what had been served had I not been tempted by the big jar of pickled garlic on the table. I also added my poached egg and broth to the bowl, along with the bean sprouts, jalapeños, herbs and lime wedge.
Overall, I was thoroughly satisfied, and I am already making plans to return to try the phở đặc biệt.
Phở Thìn 13 Lò Đúc
10451 Bolsa Ave #101
Westminster CA 92683
8:00am - 9:00pm Daily