Pho Kim Long – San Jose

2082 N Capitol Ave

San Jose, CA 95132

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Pho Kim Long. Pho Kim Long. Pho Kim Long. You can try saying that loudly multiple times in public, and you will sure have people looking at you funny. Located just south of Milpitas near the Great Mall, Pho Kim Long serves up authentic Vietnamese food in a fast-paced, people-packed environment. Parking was available, but harder to find. Upon entering the restaurant, another couple was right in front of us as well. A server noticed the new guests, and flagged both the couple in front of us along with us towards the back of the restaurant. Without any words, she pointed the couple to a table and subsequently directed us to another table. Menus were quickly dropped in front of us, and I knew we had to act quick to skim the menu. Less than a minute latter, the server comes back to ask what do we want.

Today, we quickly ordered the Spring Rolls, Large Pho Tai, and BBQ Pork and shrimp over rice. The spring rolls came a little different than with other restaurants as the ends are actually cut off. There was an adequate amount of pork and shrimp in each bite. The rolls included mint, which I usually don’t like, so I decided to add hoisin sauce to help neutralize the taste. The pho came quickly right after the rolls and had the fresh rare steak cooking inside the fairly clear broth. The broth did not seem to have a lot of flavor and was on the bland side. I ended up adding more hoisin sauce and black pepper for flavor. I was quite amazed at the quality of the beef because it was extremely tender. The menu states they use filet mignon, but I don’t believe them; however, considering how tender the meat was, I would not rule it out. A while later, the BBQ pork and shrimp over rice arrived. I really like how they butterfly the shrimp, but I would have preferred they remove the shell from the shrimp as well. The shrimp used was quite large, but slightly overcooked as it was a bit rubbery. The pork was marinated well and went well with the provided sauce, but was quite burnt at parts. The soup provided was very savory, but just tasted OK.

Overall, Pho Kim Long serves up good pho, but their lack of service and poorly made rice dish reduced their recommendation. Although you get seated quick, and food usually arrives quick, you have the sense that they just want people in and out as quick as possible. Going to a Vietnamese restaurant, you would have to expect that to be the case. After you finish your meal, you need to personally go to the register to pay. Something did not sit will with me from the pho, which was odd as well. If you are in San Jose and need to look for pho, Pho Kim Long will satisfy that need, but I was not very impressed.

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