Yes, it's far, but Pho Y#1 is the best pho spot you're ever going to find in a mini mall. It looks like a giant college dining hall, but you're not there for the decor. The Southern-style soup has nicely al dente noodles and a pleasant ginger edge to the broth, given a nice hum from generous cilantro sprinkles. Textbook, high-quality pho. Don’t forget the durian shake for a drink. Your hesitant friends will be impressed and jealous.
How do you feel about Pho King? (We'll give you a second.) Okay, now check the immature eighth grade jokes at the door (not really) of this Oakland spot. The bun bo hue here is the stuff of legend; the generous bowl of beef pho is just as good with a hefty hand on the cilantro and onions -- mega flavor on display, they’re not shy. Beef balls are a key addition (you can also laugh at that; we won't judge).
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Trevor is a restaurants writer for SF Weekly and contributing editor for Vino 24/7. His nicknames include "Bulldog", "The Turtle", and formerly, "T-Bone", until George Costanza stole that from him. Follow Trevor @TrevorFelch.