Pho So 1 is conveniently located next to 99 Ranch Market in Van Nuys. On the days I decide to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach I might pop in for a quick bite. I can always count on the same wait staff to be there, and sometimes even run into them at the market. The restaurant is a decent size with mainly four person tables and rarely a long wait. If there is a line, be sure to sign your name on the clip board inside. The restaurant is very basic and mostly clean. This isn't the kind of place I would go on a date, but more of a quick stop for some belly filling food. The service is super fast if you order pho or egg rolls. We skipped the egg rolls this visit, but they are quite good.
Usual plate of fixings for pho
I always add bean sprouts, basil, jalapeno and a squeeze of lime juice to my pho.
Dac Biet Xe Lua (No.1)
A friend always told me, when in doubt (or indecisive) always go with the number 1 choice on the menu at a pho restaurant and I did. I ordered a regular sized bowl which came with rare slices of steak, well-done brisket, flank, tendon, and tripe. I find that the quality of meat at Pho So 1 is not as good as other pho restaurants I've visited and their tendon is my least favorite. The tripe didn't taste very fresh this time, but the beef was tender and flavorful. The broth is ordinary, but the noodles are a highlight for me because they have the right amount of spring and do not break into pieces when I mix everything together. When I'm really hungry, a bowl of this hits the spot.
Pho Tom (No.23)
Shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp. The bowl does come with quite a few large shrimps with the tail on. The shrimp was ok, and the broth and noodles are exactly the same as the other bowl of pho we ordered. This is the first time we ordered pho with shrimp and definitely the last time. Something about the combination just doesn't work for me.
The service is good in the sense that they take your order right away and all your food arrives quickly, however do not expect a smile or any kind of small talk. The pho is satisfying, but do not expect to be screaming "OMG" when you eat it. I enjoy the egg rolls and regret not ordering them this time. If you're in the neighborhood and want a decent bowl of pho or delicious egg rolls, give Pho So 1 a try.
Pho So 1
6450 Sepulveda Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91411
The parking lot is huge and shared with 99 Ranch Market. During busy grocery shopping hours, the lot is very full.