Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pho 69 - Best Pho in San Jose!

Downtown San Jose is really on a roll with restaurant openings lately. Since I was raised in San Jose, I'm intimately familiar with Pho (Over 100,000 people of Vietnamese descent live in San Jose... Pho is everywhere). Back in college, I had Pho for lunch almost every single day. Of the 50+ Pho restaurants I've been to over the years, Pho 69 is hands down the best one in every criteria I can think of!

Let's start with the food. Today I had the spring rolls, crispy rolls, a Pho 69 special, and my wife had Chicken Pho. Everything was amazing, but the house special Pho 69 really rocked my world. The 3 main proteins in their signature bowl are brisket, meatball, and thinly sliced fillet mignon. You read that correctly, fillet Mignon in Pho! My wife's Pho Ga also featured a rare Pho ingredient, free range chicken. The broth was rich and complex. Usually I douse hot sauce and plum sauce in my soup, but that was really unnecessary in this case. Perhaps the $20,000 vat that they use to steam cook the broth over a 24 hour period has something to do with the quality here.

Next, the ambiance. Easily the nicest Pho restaurant I have ever been to (I've had Pho at Parcel 104 before, but that doesn't really count). The dining area is spacious, lofty, and well appointed. There's a second floor for additional seating and private parties that overlooks the entire restaurant, and it's equipped for Karaoke. The kitchen is pretty open and is visible from the dining area. There's even a skylight, another feature I've never seen in a Pho restaurant.

Lastly, let's talk about character. Pho 69 is located in the artsy SoFA district downtown. I've been keeping my fingers crossed for weeks that the restaurant would have a program for artists, and it looks like it paid off. The walls are fully prepped to support rotating art and the 20+ foot ceiling provides ample space for even over-sized works. And yes, Pho 69 is planning to participate in South First Friday and already have relationships with Anno Domini and MACLA!

Personally, I couldn't have asked for anything more for a new SoFA restaurant. It's been a good year for Downtown San Jose!


  1. ate there this weekend. frickin amazing.

  2. I am so looking forward to eating here!! Hope these guys do well!

  3. So do I, went there 3 times since they opened. I've tried everything but the sandwiches, and each item is somewhere between great and incredible.

    Also the owners are the type of people that have a distinct passion for what they do and deserve to succeed. They remind me of Morocco's, Satori, The Mmoon, Ruffled Feathers, and A Taste of Paris.