Ki Joon Lee
Arguably the most popular Vietnamese food in America, pho is the perfect late night comfort food that fills your stomach with savory, warm broth and addictively tasty rice noodles. Dive into these three pho destinations in Irvine the next time you and your friends are craving a bowl that will satisfy your taste buds and your soul.
1) Tebo Pho & Tea
For $10.99, the bone-in short rib pho is served with two large chunks of supple and delicate meat attached to a rib, setting apart this destination in terms of meat. The portion is smaller, but the taste of the broth is refined and lighter compared to other restaurants, leaving a clean aftertaste when you reach the bottom of your bowl.
Tebo is also remarkable for its modern and trendy store interior that attracts the younger Irvine demographic. It not only stays open until 10 p.m. every day, but also offers a variety of boba options for dessert during your post-pho conversations. Authenticity aside, Tebo is a great option for pho beginners for its approachability and modern style.
2) Pho Ba Co
Arguably the most authentic Vietnamese dishes in Irvine can be found at Pho Ba Co, located in Woodbridge. Always booming with families for weekend lunches, the restaurant serves bowls that balance all three components of good pho: meat quality, broth depth and noodle consistency. The generous amount of brisket and rib-eye slices are juicy and perfectly cooked.
Customize the soup with sauces, bean sprouts and lime to your liking, and enjoy the most familiar and crave-fulfilling flavors of pho at this location.
3) Pho Ha Noi
Praised for its convenience and lightning-fast service, Pho Ha Noi in the Cypress Village Shopping Center is ideal for a quick bite on the go. Once you order the pho, you will most likely receive the bowl in approximately five minutes.
However, the fast service does compromise the meat quality as it is more chewy and tougher than the other destinations. Nevertheless, the pho includes very soft rice noodles and decent soup broth that leans toward the saltier side.