There’s something inherently soothing about slurping tender noodles from a steaming bowl of fragrant broth this time of year. You know it’ll hit the spot, but before you can achieve soupy satisfaction, you must make the ultimate lunchtime decision. Will it be traditional Japanese ramen or aromatic Vietnamese pho in your bowl? Let us help you choose, or possibly make you hungry for both.
Monta Chaya, 9301 S. Eastern Ave. #116, 331-5151; Monta, 5030 Spring Mountain Road #6, 367-4600.
The base is a crazy-rich, almost milky broth made from boiling pork bones for days.
Ramen traditionally uses thin, unrisen wheat noodles.
Monta’s tonkotsu toppings are green onions, roasted pork, bamboo shoots and kikurage mushroom.
Don’t be afraid of extra slices of buttery pork, aka chashu.
We like to add on sweet corn and hard-boiled egg. Yum.
Pho Chin Nam Gau Gan Sach
Pho Saigon 8, 9055 S. Eastern Ave., 629-3100; 5650 W. Spring Mountain Road, 248-6663.
Pho broth is a marvel of flavor, deeply beefy but also bright with ginger, charred onion, coriander, fennel and more.
Super-thin, chewy rice noodles are the anchor in this bowl.
Pho Saigon 8’s “kitchen sink” order (No. 26) has almost the entire cow: lean steak, fatty brisket, flank steak, soft tendon and tripe.
Fresh herbs and veggies are a necessity: Thai basil and mint, crunchy bean sprouts, raw jalapeño slices and lots of lime juice.