Just a bowl of noodles

Here are three recent bowls of noodles which I’ve recently had here in the City. The first one is from Heaven’s Dog, which is the latest restaurant from Charles Phan of Slanted Door fame. t’s located in the SOMA Grand condo complex on Mission Street between 8th and 7th Streets. It is a stylishly modern place, with the cooks hand pulling noodles in the front exhibition kitchen. My favorite dish here is a bowl of Beef Tripe noodles. It’s a bit small in size, and a bit pricey for what you get, but the quality of the noodles and the tripe is top notch. The bowl was about $8.50 or so, but the rich, star anise-scented broth was delicious, and the noodles were nice and toothy and the tripe was tender and sweet. There is also a nice selection of small plates,  noodles, desserts and has a full bar.

Beef tripe noodles from Heaven's Dog

Beef tripe noodles from Heaven's Dog

 Next up is a bowl of braised Duck Leg  won ton Egg noodles from Hai Ky Mi Gia in Little Saigon. It’s almost like a Vietnamese duck confit in a pretty tasty duck broth and very fresh egg noodles and plump, tender won ton. The egg noodles are excellent, and the won ton are very tasty, stuffed with a shrimp and pork mixture. Served on the side is a dish of

Braised duck leg with egg noodles from Hai Ky Mi Gia

Braised duck leg with egg noodles from Hai Ky Mi Gia

crunchy Vietnamese pickled cucumbers and carrots. This was a bigger bowl than Heaven’s Dog, and was only abobut $6.50. This is a real “local” joint, with a mostly Asian clientele. There can be a pretty long line to get in during the weeday lunch hour. Don’t expect much in the way of decor, unless you like formica. The service is pleasant, if a bit rushed, during the lunch hour. The place takes cash only though.

(edit: All Star Pho is now CLOSED, but I am leaving the following in to add more context to this post))

Finally, my favorite of the three is the least likely place to find a good bowl of noodles. The place is on 9th Street between Mission and Market Streets in the Civic Center/SOMA area. Look for All star Donuts on the corner, and right next door is All Star Pho. This is a great place, and has only been open for about two months. The reason I say it is great is because (1)It’s a great value (2) The portions are huge (3) The broth is fantastic and (4) It is attached to the Donut shop! If you can finish the huge bowl of noodles, you can walk into the donut shop without going outside, and treat yourself to a donut….but this ain’t about donuts, it’s about the noodles. I had the Big bowl of #14, rare flank and beef brisket pho. the portion was huge, with literally about one pound of meat! The noodles were very fresh, but the broth is spectacular. The broth has a distinct star anise/clove scent and flavor, and the soup is spiked with mostly raw sliced onions and freshly chopped cilantro. A plate of do it yourself garnish includes the usual bean sprouts, sliced jalapenos, lemon wedges, and sparkling fresh basil. The regular bowl is 5.95 and the big bowl is $6.95. I’ve been there several times, and haven’t had the regular bowl yet. I can’t pass up the big bowl for only a buck more. I have a tough time fininshing it, but somhow I always manage. It must be the soup! This place is cash only as well.

Rare flank and beef brisket pho from All Star Pho

Rare flank and beef brisket pho from All Star Pho

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