Back in January, on my way to Jazz Cat Restaurant - San Gabriel, I noticed a sign on Valley Boulevard advertising kobe beef pho. Kobe beef, huh? Well, I guess they had to up the ante since filet mignon pho is sooo 2007. :P
Anyway, I was distracted and couldn't remember which restaurant it was so I mentioned it to Tony of SinoSoul so he could have a look out whenever he was in the area. Sure enough, he later told me he found my kobe beef pho and it was being served by Noodle Guy Vietnamese Restaurant in Alhambra.
I didn't get a chance to check it out until March, shortly after I got back from Portland. It was a blustery, rainy night. Perfect weather for a piping hot bowl of soup.
Tony went with a Ca Phe Sua Nong (Vietnamese Hot Coffee), $2, while I stuck with hot tea.
The decor featured bold reds and golds, and plenty of flat screen TVs.
I ordered the kobe beef Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup), $8.85.
While Tony ordered the filet mignon pho, $6.75, so we could compare the meats. I have to say, the kobe beef definitely looked more tender.
We got our beef on the side so it wouldn't be overcooked.
Look how tender the meat looks in the broth.
Was it tasty? Definitely yes.
And no overly MSG aftertaste either.
If you like filet mignon pho over regular pho because you think the meat is better, then you'll definitely love kobe beef pho. Whether it's worth the price tag is up to you. I returned a few weeks later with my brother and lil' sis and while they liked the pho, they didn't think it was worth paying $2 more than the filet mignon pho we usually get at
Pho Filet Vietnamese Restaurant - South El Monte.
That time we also ordered Com Suon Cha Trung (Vietnamese Pork Chop with Steamed Egg), $6.85.
Banh beo (Vietnamese steamed rice discs with dried shrimp), $4.49.
Although the texture wasn't as silken as I liked, I did like that the banh beo were topped with Hanh Phi (Vietnamese Fried Shallots) and scallions.
We also got Pho Ap Chao Do Bien (Vietnamese Pan-fried Rice Noodles with Seafood), $6.99.
Look at the crispy noodles.
While the pho didn't wow either of my siblings, it sure made a fan of the niece.
Here's her angry face when we told her there was no more pho. Haha.
And of course, I had to make a YouTube video because she's sooo adorable. Baby loves pho!
Then a few days after I got back from Vegas, my childhood friend said she was going to be in the area for lunch and asked if I wanted banh beo. Our usual spot, Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa Vietnamese Restaurant - Rosemead is closed on Wednesdays so I suggested Noodle Guy since I hadn't blogged it yet.
She ordered Bun Thit Bo Nuong Cha Gio (Vietnamese Grilled Beef with Egg Rolls), $5.65.
And I got a dac biet (special) pho with regular meat, $5.75, just so I could see if there's that much difference with the kobe beef. The kobe beef is significantly more tender so it's definitely worth it if you get pho with just rare beef. If you're in the mood for tripe and tendon and all the other meats, then don't splurge for extra because the kobe beef will just be lost amongst all the other meats.
The kobe beef pho is a not-so-secret hidden menu item. Meaning if you order the regular pho, the waiter will try to up-sell it to you. So just ask for it because you won't see it on the menu.
All in all, even at $8.85 for kobe (well, technically wagyu beef), it's worth the occasional splurge. The rest of the menu is in the very affordable $5 to $7 range.
Other pho restaurants:
Pho 79 Restaurant - Alhambra
Pho Filet Vietnamese Restaurant - South El Monte
Pho Ga Vietnam Kitchen - San Gabriel
Pho Ha Vietnamese Restaurant - Pomona
Pho Huynh Vietnamese Restaurant - South El Monte
Pho Minh Vietnamese Restaurant - South El Monte
Pho Pasteur - Rosemead
Pho Super Bowl Vietnamese Cuisine - Alhambra
Pho Thang Long Restaurant - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Pho Thanh Lich - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Noodle Guy Vietnamese Restaurant
1257 E. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91801
8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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