Pho on Bryant just opened a few weeks ago, although our server told me they used to be on Monterey Blvd. in Sunnyside. So they’re not new at this. Serving a combination of Vietnamese pho and other big-bowled noodle soups and Chinese dim sum, Pho on Bryant seems to be building up its clientele slowly but steadily. The space is minimalist and modern, with some nicely understated design elements.
We shared an order of pot stickers on our first visit.
These plump little half-moons were just the way we wanted them: crispy, tender, and delicious.
For my main, I ordered the combination pho.
Pho dac biet (rare ribeye, meatballs, brisket, and tripe) in a broth that was a bit mild but tasty enough, and served with only minimal veggies. Still, I enjoyed this steaming hug of a bowl, and the ribeye was tender and flavorful. I couldn’t even eat half of this, though — I’m always amazed at people who can. I’m certainly no bird when it comes to food. It made a lovely lunch the next day, as the flavors only deepened.
The BF got his usual Vietnamese staple, bun thit nuong.
Grilled pork over vermicelli. His pork wasn’t as well-charred as at our favorite local place, but he liked it OK. I thought the meat tasted just fine. It also had a good amount of fried crispy shallots and peanuts to give it that extra “oomph.”
I’d wanted to try the pho ga (Vietnamese chicken soup) on our second visit, but I just wasn’t in the mood for all that broth. Instead, we shared a green papaya salad.
The salad was chock-full of all the usual crunchy, crispy bits, but this was definitely the Gringo version, lacking any heat whatsoever. Papaya salad needs spice! Ah well, nothing a lot of sriracha didn’t fix (almost.) Still, the salad was fresh tasting and there was plenty of it.
Next, we split some dim sum.
Char siu bao (BBQ pork buns), the BF’s favorite, with a good ratio of sweet pork filling to bao, and mine, Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), those wonderful, broth-filled dumplings with a fat little nugget of ground pork love floating in the middle. Not quite as thin and droopy as they’re supposed to be at their very best, but still lovely with the usual dipping sauce of soy, black Zhenjiang vinegar and slivers of shivery ginger.
We also got an order of Vietnamese pork spring rolls (gỏi cuốn).
Fresh and meaty, all at the same time. (Yes, it was quite the porkalicious night.)
For his main, the BF got the beef rice plate.
… with optional fried egg! Anytime you can add an egg to something, do it. There’s just no downside.
The beef in this dish was more flavorful and better grilled than the pork in the BF’s first dinner, and he wolfed this down. I barely got to pick at it from the edges.
As usual, we couldn’t finish everything. We brought one of the pork rolls home, half the papaya salad, and a couple of the pork bao. The soup dumplings never stood a chance — apart from the couple I allowed the BF, those babies all slid down my gaping maw.
Pho on Bryant doesn’t serve alcohol (and doesn’t plan to, I was told.) They’ve got soda, coconut water, Thai iced tea, bubble tea, and Vietnamese iced coffee to quench your thirst. They’ve got a few other dumpling-like things I’d like to try, an array of Vietnamese salads, and a whole plethora of noodle soups (I’m particularly tempted by the tomato crab meat noodle soup with flat wide egg noodles) to choose from.
The restaurant was full on a Saturday night, but quite deserted on the Tuesday after a long weekend. They seem to do a lot of take-out and online delivery orders, which seems to be the case with most of our newer fast-casual restaurants. The service was friendly and efficient, however, making it worthwhile to stop in for a while instead of eating all by your lonesome.
A neighborhood joint in the making.
Pho on Bryant
2200 Bryant St.