Sunday, May 29, 2011

Phuong Thao - Sunnyvale

Last minute lunch decision brought us to this establishment on one Saturday afternoon. Upon looking up the location, it is exactly in Downtown Sunnyvale on Murphy. When we got there, the vendors of the Saturday farmers market were just finishing their packing. Too bad, otherwise we could have our lunch at the farmers market.

The menu was pretty extensive. I chose the stiry fry lemon grass chicken with vermicelli and hubby went with classic pho noodle soup with rare beef. While we were waiting for our orders I looked around the premise. The furniture were dark cherry color and the tables were covered with glass on top of white table cloth. The white table clothes made you feel like it's more classy yet it's easier for them to clean with the glass top on it.

Our appetizer came out first. It's grilled pork meat ball spring rolls. I had no clue what it supposed to look or taste like. We were used to order regular spring roll or egg roll and Phuong Thao offered more on their menu. The pork meat ball looked more like salami to us wrapped with the rice paper complete with rice noodle, bean sprout and lettuce. The dipping sauce provided were both sweet peanut sauce and fish sauce mix (that is typically used for eggroll). I couldn't quite decide which one went better with the roll. Both were equally good. Yum.

My chicken vermicelli was huge. It reminded me of the Korean bibimbap. A huge bowl of vermicelli on the bottom, topped with sliced cucumber, crushed peanuts,thinly sliced pickled daikon, minced mint leaves and then the stir fry chicken with bunch of red/green bell peppers. Mix them well and start digging in. It was refreshing with all the greens. Taste more like a salad than a fried noodle. Well, that's because the vermicelli was not exactly fried. The fragrant of the lemon grass was subtle and added much flavor to the dish.

Hubby's bowl of pho had a distinct smell of star anise. The broth was darker with chunks of green onion floating. The beef was a bit dry for his taste. He didn't like his order as much as mine.

I don't think we'll be back in the future. For sure not for the pho noodle soup. There are other places better for pho in the area. It's out of the way for us to go all the way there for the vermicelli bowl. I'll try to look around for vermicelli bowl at another noodle joints. Maybe I'll find my luck somewhere else.

Phuong Thao
155 S Murphy Ave  Sunnyvale, CA 94086    (408) 737-7640

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Yiasso - Cupertino

This establishment has been around forever. Ever since we used to live in that area and that was like 10 years ago. Recently hubby went to have lunch there and rediscovered it. So off we went this weekend.

Dipping yogurt - up close and personal
 The seating area inside was kinda tiny and that day were a bit busy even though it was way past 2 pm. The setting was more like fast food like. Go to the counter order from the posted menu (they also have special going on that day). I couldn't decide on what to get. So I got the combo souvlaki (not even knowing what a souvlaki was !). Hubby ordered a super gyros.

Souvlaki Combo

SUPER gyros !!

We picked a table inside because outside was chilly and waited for our number to be called. It took about 15 minutes but everything were prepared after we ordered. My souvlaki combo was a big platter of rice, four skewers of meat, salad, pita bread and yogurt for dipping. Everything was yummy. The meat was a combination of chicken (2 skewers), beef and lamb. The meat was surprisingly juicy even the chicken. The rice was a bit salty for my taste. But it went very well with the yogurt. I really enjoyed it and I actually finished the whole platter. Hubby also enjoyed his super gyros. It was big with way more stuffing than the gyros he ordered last time. The super gyros was like a huge over stuffed burrito without rice. Just thinly sliced barbecue meat, chopped tomato, chunks of feta cheese and tiny slices of iceberg lettuce.

10660 South De Anza Boulevard Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 253-5544

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pholicious - Cupertino

We visited this establishment a couple of years ago when the name was Pho Linh. Can't tell for sure if they owner is still the same. I decided to give them another try.

I picked their special Pholiciousl bowl of pho that offered combination of beef, chicken and prawn. Hubby chose a dry vermicelli combination of egg roll, bbq prawn and pork. I noticed there was a pho challenge on their menu. They offer a special size bowl of pho that features 25 oz of meat and 25 oz of noodle. Whoever that finishes it off in 55 minutes won't have to pay $19.95 for the pho and instead gets a t-shirt. I could only imagine what the t-shirt says : I love pho ?

Our order took about 15 minutes to be ready. The restaurant wasn't busy then. Just a couple of tables occupied. But I guess hubby's bbq order took longer to prepare. He loved his vermicelli combo. His complain was only one - the size was too compact. Not enough noodle. But beware though with the bbq
shrimps. The shrimps were bbq on a bamboo stick. And either the stick broke off afterwards or they were just cut off but was not removed. I bit into the shrimp and experience a hard piece. Pulled it out and it was a piece of bamboo. Same thing also happened to hubby.

My bowl of pho was short of greens. I love my soup with full of cilantro, green onion, and celery. This one was very scarce of it. I can't blame them though because it took me years to come to like those greens. I'm pretty sure most people out there can't quite enjoy it yet. The broth was darker in color than other pho places I've been to. And it had stronger smell of star anise. But other than that it was pretty plain. There was enough slices of beef but it wasn't rare steak so it was a bit dry by the time I ate it. The chicken was tender but the shrimps were too tiny.

It's sad that so far there's no pho restaurant in Cupertino that I can call my favorite place. I guess if I lived in this area I would have to drive to either Sunnyvale (Pho Nam) or all the way to San Jose.

Pholicious - 21271 Stevens Creek Blvd #410, Cupertino, CA 95014  (408) 777-8850