This week, we’re seeking out delicious pho, the Vietnamese beef broth and rice noodle soup that just happens to be a perfect complement to the finally-here fall weather. In my seasoned experience, most Vegas pho parlors offer a similar take on this savory staple. So I’m depending on the word of two men whose opinions we should all trust: tattoo artist extraordinaire Austin Spencer and all-world chef Alex Stratta.
Austin sends me to Pho 87, on Jones near Spring Mountain, around the corner from his Flamingo Road ink shop. The service is very friendly and the pho is just right, broth flavorful and glistening with fat from long simmered bones, loaded with charred onions and small strips of tender meat. The imperial egg rolls are even better, hot and crispy pork-stuffed treasures for you to wrap in lettuce and a peppery herb from the mint family. 87 is a solid call.
- Pho 87
- 3620 S. Jones Blvd., 233-8787
- Pho So 1
- 4745 Spring Mountain Road, 252-3934
Just a few blocks away, Pho So 1 is one of the busiest pho joints I’ve seen. I tell ’em to bring me what Chef Alex likes, and quickly a huge, steaming bowl is in front of my face, filled with all the weird meaty treasures most of us avoid: tender tripe, fatty brisket and buttery, melt-in-your-mouth tendon. The varying textures and mingling flavors are quite dramatic, and the broth is deep and rich. If there has to be a winner, this is it. But I’ll return to both restaurants. Austin and Alex know their pho.