Saw a mention of the dry pho at Pho Tan Hoa in the Tenderloin from an article in the Chronicle posted in this thread and went there for lunch to try it.
They have two dry pho dishes on the menu, one with beef and one with seafood. I ordered the beef one, the Dac Biet Pho Kho, #26 on the menu. You know how you can get pho with raw steak on the side? This was like pho with the soup on the side. It was topped with the requisite brisket, tripe, tendon, thinly sliced steak that was lightly cooked, onions, and cilantro. Also had some crumbled peanuts. The noodles were cooked and lightly seasoned with something, they had a dark tinge. Also on the side were a small bowl of what tasted like nuoc cham and the herb plate that usually comes with pho.
I wasn’t sure how to eat it so I dumped the herbs and bean sprouts from the herb plate into the bowl of broth, and then took them out of the broth and mixed it in with the noodles and beef after they had softened slightly. Drank some of the broth in between bites and used the nuoc cham as a dip for the beef. It was quite good. Without the broth covering it up, the beef and especially the offal parts had a more pronounced beefy taste. The thinly sliced steak stayed tender. Noodles were chewy and flavorful from the seasoning, and the peanuts added some crunchiness.
#26 Dac Biet Pho Kho