I live in Southern California, a land where rain almost seems like an oddity. Some welcome it when it comes…others freak out on the freeways and go 50 MPH. Suddenly, some of the craziest (or worst or the most frustrating – however you wanna look at it) drivers in the nation become the most paranoid, docile drivers on the road. I went to undergrad in Seattle where rain is an unfortunate commonplace in the daily lives of those who inhabit the Evergreen State, so it doesn’t trouble me. Despite the driving qualms, I love the fact that there are certain foods that fulfill the soul, stomach, and mind like a satisfying, warm bowl of soup – this time around, it’s pho, a Vietnamese noodle dish (well, technically bowl) filled with thin noodles that swim in a delightful beef broth that has been stewing for who knows how long. This is what it looks like my friend.
Once this heart-warming concoction arrives in front of you, you do what my friend does…
I typically add Hoisin Sauce (a.k.a Oyster Sauce), which is a thick sauce that is primarily sweet. For some much needed kick I highly recommend the almost obligatory Srichachachachachacha, otherwise known as Rooster Blood (It’s not really blood). Sip, taste, let those thoughts marinade for a bit, and then…
if it tastes good this is hopefully how you feel, just on the inside cause if you were to show this to those next to you,then I’m sure they wouldn’t be having good times.
On this particular rainy day, I travelled out to Westminster/Garden Grove, to an area called Little Saigon to a place named Pho 79. I don’t know why and how the numbers are there, they just are. Let’s forget the name and focus on the food! This bowl comes to you steaming as if to tantalize your sense of smell first to tease you and let you know that yes, it’s a good bowl of pho. You have to hold back your animalistic instincts to just dig in immediately. Remember, you gotta put all those extras in. Well, you don’t really have to, but you might as well experience it. Then again, you can just sneak a sip to provide temporary gratification. Once seasoned properly with the Hoisin + Sriracha, you take that first (if you were good) dip into the soup. Remember those Campbell’s commercials where the spoon just stays up next to their face, eyes closed, a slight grin, and that vocal “Mmmm…”? Well, you’ve just encountered the Asian version, my friend. But, you’re not done just yet! Those noodles are there! Oh my! There’s meat also!? The trifecta just blasted your mind. You slurp, sip, and “Mmmm” your way to the bottom of that bowl. Then comes that satisfactory kick back into your chair, the pat on your tummy, and those famous words, “Ooof…I’m so full”.
The oh-so suttlely sweet, but predominantly savory (thank you MSG) broth has fully taken over. The tender bits of flank steak that may be accompanied by soft bits of tendon (or in my case, also accompanied by tripe) give you your protein requirements. The perfectly cooked noodles give you that carbo load that’s prevalent across all forms of gastronomic adventures. To balance it all out, you have some veggies in there. A completely satisfying meal.
Here’s the place I went to if you ever want to try it out.
Pho 79 ***NOTE that this is the HAZARD location. NOT the Bolsa location***
9941 Hazard Ave
Garden Grove, CA 92643
Mind-blasting factor: 8/10
If I had to…I’d give it a 4/5 overall.
Been there? Let me know what you think! Any other recommendations? They don’t have to be pho. What do YOU like to eat on a rainy day?
Thanks for stopping by. God bless. Happy eating. Remember to share.