Pho Ca Dao – San Diego

8373 Mira Mesa Blvd

San Diego, CA 92126

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

In search for Pho in San Diego, we ended up at the local popular chain called Pho Ca Dao. With 4 locations serving the San Diego area, Pho Diego serves up authentic Vietnamese food without the Chinese food offerings. A diverse menu contains the usual Vietnamese staples in appetizers, pho, vermicelli noodle, and rice plates. Staff easily accommodated our large group in adjacent tables. Servers quickly brought waters and menus to the guests.

Today, we ordered the large sliced rare steak pho, egg rolls, combination shredded pork with pork skin steamed egg pork meatloaf marinated charbroiled lemongrass pork chops rice plate, and strawberry smoothie. After ordering, food arrived fairly quickly starting with the egg rolls. Unlike the restaurants in Sacramento, Pho Ca Dao actually serves the egg rolls with a large platter of lettuce leaves and picked veggies. Instead of just dipping the egg rolls in the sauce, you wrap the egg roll in the lettuce with the picked veggies and then dip the whole thing into the sauce. This makes the egg roll taste healthier and better. The contents of the egg roll tasted fresh and went well with the sauce. The rare steak pho came in a decent sized bowl with an abundant amount of meat. I opted to order additional meat balls as well. I was not a big fan of the meatballs because it had large chunks of tendon inside. Other than that, the pho tasted delicious and the steak was fresh. The broth was a bit light, but still had beef flavor, albeit, lighter and clearer that I would like. The both was slightly oily, but not too bad. The rice plate had quite a bit of food in it. The pork chops were marinated well and delicious. The egg meatloaf was OK, but did not taste that good. The pork skin did not taste much better than the egg meatloaf. I was very disappointed with the strawberry smoothie because it tasted very sweet and fake. The flavor did not taste realistic at all.

Overall, Pho Ca Dao serves up decent pho and rice plates in the San Diego area. I am not sure how much better it can be down in San Diego due to the few options available. With so many locations available and the abundance of staff and seating, I still feel Pho Ca Dao will provide an enjoyable experience if you are feeling pho in San Diego.

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