Tay Ho opened up a branch closer to home on El Camino in Santa Clara. It is a sister branch to Banh Cuon Tay Ho on Senter Road in San Jose and related to the Tay Ho in Oakland. Vietnamese restaurants are not very concentrated north of San Jose in the valley, so this new restaurant provides another option without having to drive to San Jose.
Since banh cuon is their specialty in the San Jose branch, we tried the combination Banh Cuon Tay Ho Dac Biet- which contained: flour sheet rolls with ground pork/ dried shrimp and sides include: egg rolls, fermented pork, pork loaf slices, shrimp cake with mung bean, shrimp tempura with yam tempura. The diluted fish sauce in a jar was towards the weak side for the banh cuon. The items were freshly made. My favorites were the egg rolls and the pork loaf, more so than the banh cuon itself.
Mi Tom Tay Ho Dac Biet- egg noodle with battered shrimp, dry. this was my favorite dish. The shrimps were huge, well-battered, crisp, intensely shrimpy and tasty. The egg noodles were al dente. Poured the hot and mellow broth into the bowl, stirred, and dunked each mouthful of noodles into the accompanying fragrant sauce (sweet chili? lemongrass?). We thought about getting a second bowl versus the pho that we eventually got.
Also had an ok pho dac biet. Wanted to try the bun rieu that @felice mentioned here but our server said they didn’t have it yet since they were still in soft opening. Next time we will try bun bo hue that @tm.tm liked here .
The shrimp egg noodle isnt on the menu in Oakland. From the combo plate my favorite item is the fried mung bean cake, it’s nice and chewy. I do like their diluted fish sauce, but yes it is dilute and so items that arent already salted requires more. They also have the best Vietnamese crepe I’ve had, so that might be worth trying your next visit. I always have a hard time deciding between the bun rieu and the crepe, I usually pick based on the weather.
Inadvertently ended up at Tay Ho again this week. Was going to try The Higher Taste, a new Indian place in Sunnyvale serving sattvic/ Yoga food, but it seemed like the entire Indian population in Santa Clara wanted to try as well so we went back to Tay Ho instead.
Bun bo hue:
Fairly decent. shank, blood cubes, pork loaf, beef ball, knuckles in a hotter than An Nam, but still fairly moderate, broth. Ingredients were fresh. Would prefer a bit more beef parts.
Mi kho (33a dry): egg noodle with steamed pork, shrimp, fish cake. They were out of quail eggs, and came with a seafood tasting orange sauce with what looked like chopped up dried shrimp in it. Just poured the whole thing and the broth into the bowl and mixed. Still liked mi tom better.
Banh Canh with pork leg, shrimp is a winner. The broth was intensely porky, and slightly sweetened without noticeable use of MSG. Chunks of tendons/ meat from around likely around the knuckle area. Delicious.
We dont get half these dishes in Oakland and I have never had crepe with coconut. I didnt see the coconut in your picture, where is it hiding? The version in Oakland doesnt have green onion and is not open faced. I am curious what the relation is between the different Tay Ho locations.
The pale yellowish chunks along the edge of the egg batter tasted really coconut-y to me so i assumed its coconut chunks. It could be something dipped in coconut milk? I think the banh xeo from the south usually has coconut milk beat into the batter. I am wondering whether this is their take of the coconut flavor…
The peninsula branches are probably related to eachother but they are not related to the Oakland branch. The owners of the Oakland branch bought the restaurant years ago from the San Jose owners and decided not to change the name.
Interestingly, the web site lists both the Oakland branch and the San Jose branch (but not the peninsula branches). No mention of the Santa Clara branch. Next time I’ll ask them how they are affiliated with each other (or not).
According to Bitker’s recent piece, Tay Ho in Oakland is not related to Banh Cuon Tay Ho, its predecessor, but Tay Ho in Santa Clara is part of the Banh Cuon Tay Ho family, according to this. http://www.tayho.com/address