Pho Hoa Lao II

333 10th Street, between Webster and Harrison. This is a pretty crowded pho place in Oakland’s Chinatown. I had the pho tai bo vien (flank steak and beef balls), which was about the best pho I’ve ever had in a restaurant. The broth was flavorful but not too heavy, the portions of meat were generous, and the noodles cooked just right. The menu is a little sparse as Vietnamese restaurants go, with none of the bun (vermicelli) dishes that you see at a lot of places. But they serve up a mean bowl of pho, and one that I’m willing to make the trip into Oakland for, given the sparse pickings in Berkeley.

The wait staff is friendly and not pushy, even though we spent 20 minutes after finishing just yakking away. They even taught Dave how to ask for his pho without cilantro.

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