Noodles Pho Me: Check, Please! Bay Area Review

Noodles Pho Me: Check, Please! Bay Area Review


– Hawaii native, Daron Cam, knows a thing or two about noodles. He grew up eating them Chinese style but now his favorite preparation is noodles soaked in a
hearty broth Laotian style. Tucked away in San Leandro he finds perfection at a
place called Noodles Pho Me. (jazzy music) – [David] We’re from Laos. Laos is a small landlocked
country in Southeast Asia. And so, we’ve specialized in Lao food. Unlike the Vietnamese version, our pho is a little bit more
creamier, much more beefier, and has a little bit more kick to it. – (greets in foreign language) My name is Cindy Sengsourith. – (greets in foreign language) My name is Tong Sengsourith
and welcome to Noodles Pho Me here in San Leandro, California. – [Cindy] I want to start a restaurant because I want to educate
the Bay Area people here about the Lao food and I
want to share that food. All my family here, we love
to cook, we love to eat. In the back, in the kitchen
are myself, my two mom, my three sisters and in
the front are my four boys. You could be like a family, be yourself when you’re
here at Noodles Pho Me. – [Tong] After the Vietnam war, we came to United States as a refugees because we got sponsored
by a nonprofit organization to come to United States
to escape persecution and so, we’re so blessed
to be able to be here and so happy and honored
to be able to share our tradition and our Lao
cuisine with the community here. – Alright, Daron, now you have relatives or your parents are from
Vietnam and China, correct? – That’s correct – So, how did you get
interested in Laotian cuisine? – I’m a value eater and
I just looked up noodles and they just popped up, you know? And I am so glad that I found this place. First off, this place is
completely nostalgic for me and reminds me of my childhood. It’s located in the middle
of a residential neighborhood and it’s actually located
in a converted house and when you walk in, the aroma hits you and you see the aunties
and grandmas in the back working their pots of magic and immediately the senses are awakened and you get excited and it reminds me of my grandma, my mom, you know, just laboring in the kitchen for
hours on end when I was a kid. – [Daron] This place is
run by Laotian immigrants and this is completely a
place that I can get behind and feel good eating there,
as good as the story is it wouldn’t be anything without
the quality of the food. So, when you get there, if
it’s your first time there, they start you off with a broth sampler. The trio of broths. You start off with the pho broth and its kind of their riff on pho. It’s not a traditional
Vietnamese pho broth. It’s a little bit spicier
than what your accustomed to and then you wash off the
spice with the second one. It’s the yellow one, it’s the khao poon, that’s my favorite one. It’s a little bit sweeter,
it’s a little bit coconut-y and aromatic. And the third
sampler is more of a hearty, it’s an oil slick, red,
tomato based broth. That’s the broth they
use in their khao soi and so, it’s nice because the broth should be the
star of the noodle dish and you get to choose which one you want and once you order it, you can’t go wrong with either of the
three I’ve had them all. – [Daron] But when it comes out, the first thing that you’re shocked by is the size of the bowl. The bowl is bigger than
the size of your head and I don’t know what Sir
Mix-a-Lot is doing these days, but he needs to come out of retirement and do a parody on this place
called Baby Got Bowls because (laughs) – Baby got bowls! – The bowl comes out and you’re just like “oh my gosh, look at that bowl!” – [Jesse] Well, I was interested in all three of the soups on the menu so, to get to try the samplings in like, a little shot glass of broth, was great. So, my wife really
appreciated that she could get a smaller size, I could get a larger size. The quantities were huge,
we still took some home. – [Daron] We could go for a large. – [Jesse] Yeah, so but I
thought that it was nice, nice way and creative way to format it. – [Jesse] I started with the sai gok, which is the pork smoky
sausage, which was incredible. which is the pork smoky
sausage, which was incredible. It has a natural casing, so
it has a nice snap to it. Really delicious, and what
was also really impressive is there’s like a house tomato and chili and oil chutney on the side,
which we thought was delicious. So that was a great way to start the meal. I had the khao soi. I had the khao soi. – [Daron] Yes. – [Jesse] Which was really interesting. Fermented tofu, ground pork, tomato Fermented tofu, ground pork, tomato and then it was kind of
a citrus-y brightness with lemon and mint, which was really warming in a hearty soup. A very unique flavor that I, you know, I’ve had a lot of pho but I’d never had anything
like this, so I enjoyed that. My wife ordered the khao poon, My wife ordered the khao poon, which is a coconut based broth, which she described as a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy, which I thought was coincidental because that is how I would describe her. (laughs) – But – You get points for that, I’m just saying right now,
you get points for that! – The perfect amount of sweet and spicy. – I did the samplers and I thought “seeing I’ve had the samplers, I don’t need to have the noodle bowl”. So, I started with the papaya salad, which was way fermented and
the carrots were shriveled and the tomatoes were soft
and it didn’t seem very fresh. So, that was a disappointment,
the papaya salad, although I did take some home
with me and it was edible. – [Leslie] Okay. – [Angela] And then I had the sausage. The sausage was great with
the chutney on the side. Thought that was terrific. Then we had the drunken
noodles with vegetables. Tofu fresh as fresh, that was great. The noodles were flat
noodles like fettucini and lots of vegetables in-between
all very fresh, lovely. – I don’t know if any of you
guys got the seafood combo with the noodles, I would
definitely recommend that, it’s only an extra two bucks and there’s so much protein in there. I was so shocked at the value
of this place, you know? – Now, dessert. (laughs) – Angela’s going “Dessert, please!” – The mango was done to perfection and I saw one of the family peel the mango so it was fresh as fresh, not mushy, not too hard, just perfect! The sticky rice was like
sticky rice should be, extremely sweet and coconut
flavor, it was really good. – Any dessert for you?
Or were you too full? – I don’t know if you’d
technically call it dessert proper but I did have the hazelnut thai iced tea, which they make in house, which is sweet and delicious and accompanies
the savory soups well. So, I would recommend that. – [Angela] I had a coconut. It was a wonderful, fresh coconut. Absolutely perfect, fresh
lovely coconut water. – Alright, this is your restaurant,
wrap it up for us Daron. – If you’re looking for a
delicious bowl of noodles made with love and like Sir Mix-a-Lot, you like big bowls and you cannot lie. (laughs) Then Noodles Pho Me is gonna be for you. – [Leslie] Alight, and Jessie? – Delicious noodles
and don’t forget to get the sai gok sausage appetizer. – [Leslie] And Angela? – Go for the drunken
noodles and the fresh tofu. – If you would like to try Noodle Pho Me, It’s on Bancroft Avenue at
Broadmoor in San Leandro. The telephone number is 510-850-5080. The telephone number is 510-850-5080. It’s open for lunch and dinner
Thursday through Tuesday. Reservations are recommended
for a party of eight or more. And the average dinner tab per person, without drinks, is under $15. – [Announcer] Check, Please! Bay Area is made possible by the
members of KQED and by (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) Oakland international airport. Now with flights all over the world. Iflyoak.com Iflyoak.com – [Speaker] IRG has thousands
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5 thoughts on “Noodles Pho Me: Check, Please! Bay Area Review

  1. Please remove this right now and re-upload once you've made sure the audio isn't all fucky any longer. Just listening on basic notebook speakers, the stereo fuck-up is quite annoying. I can only imagine how unbearable it is for headphone users. Simply mixing that shit down to mono would be a vast improvement.

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