Mar 2012

Noodle Guy – Alhambra

Noodle Guy - Alhambra

Friday night called for something warm and comforting for dinner. It’s been one of the mildest winters in recent memory, but temps hovered in the fifties this evening and storms were rolling in from points north. After assessing the possibilities in and around the neighborhood, The Astronomer and I decided that a short drive to Alhambra for Vietnamese beef noodle soup was the order of the day.

Noodle Guy - Alhambra

Noodle Guy, not to be confused with Noodle King two doors down or Noodle Boy in nearby Rosemead, serves Vietnam’s greatest hits. From broken rice to spring rolls, there’s enough variety here to fill a thick, spiral-bound booklet. However, glancing around the dining room, it seemed that most everyone was burying their faces into a big bowl of pho.

Noodle Guy - Alhambra

Taking a cue from my fellow Noodle Guy-goers, I ordered a bowl of pho bo dac biet. Beneath the heap of chopped cilantro and sliced onions was a bed of rice noodles and a delectable collection of meaty odds and ends including flank, brisket, tendon, and tripe.

Noodle Guy - Alhambra

To add further excitement to my bowl, I requested Kobe beef in place of standard rare beef. While nicer pho restaurants have been offering filet mignon for years, Noodle Guy claims to be the first to bring American Wagyu to the fore. The petite plate of well-marbled meat bumped the price of my pho up to $14.99, making it the most expensive bowl I’ve ever encountered.

Noodle Guy - Alhambra

Noodle Guy’s pho really hit the spot. The broth, which could’ve been a touch hotter, struck a balance between bold beef flavor and classic aromatics, with just enough fish sauce to make it perfectly slurpable. The Kobe beef  supplement added superbly tender bites into the mix. While it’d be slightly painful to pay $15 every time a pho craving hit, this bowl is definitely worthy of a once-in-a-while splurge.

Noodle Guy - Alhambra

The Astronomer was pleased enough with his bun nem nuong thit nuong ($6.25), cold vermicelli noodles with two kinds of pork. His only complaint was that the nuoc cham (fish sauce vinaigrette) was lacking its characteristic pow. He had to drench his noodles with two portions of the stuff for it to register on his palate, which left his noodles in a soupy mess.

Noodle Guy is one helluva guy. I’ll be back for more fancy pho.

Noodle Guy
1257 East Valley Boulevard
Alhambra, CA 91801
Phone: 626-284-1868

There’s more to eat in Alhambra:

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14 thoughts on “Noodle Guy – Alhambra

  1. More homesickness! It’s about $10 here for a “regular” bowl of pho. I wonder how much it would be if they offered wagyu beef too!

  2. KFP & Double-D – The base price for the Kobe beef pho is $11.75. I insisted on “dac biet,” which inflated the price to $15. I can’t have an offal-less bowl of pho. That would be sad 😉

  3. Is this place run by the same people who run Naga Naga in Old Pasadena and Noodle World in San Marino?

  4. Yeah, I went there a few days after they bumped up the prices, it was a deal before but still absolutely freaking worth it.

    Btw, did you get MSG drunk right after as well? I suffered greatly for the last two times I visited and had that Kobe Pho, did you get a MSG hangover too?

    Like I said, still worth it! MSG and high prices and all, haha.

  5. Javi – Fortunately, my body is able to process MSG really well. I’ve never experienced a headache or anything like that. Whew! I’m glad to hear that the Kobe beef pho is still worth it for you!

  6. I ordered the Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong. I absolutely agreed that the fish sauce was weak. I usually like to only douse a little of the fish sauce to add some flavor but their version is very lacking that I had to use the entire amount…too much sodium! Anyway, my question is where do you think they serve the best bun vermicelli in the Sgv?

  7. You haven’t try Kobe pho until you try Kobe House. They only do Kobe Beef dishes and nothing else. Broth is from Wagyu bones,tendon,cube ribs, cooked meat, and rare steak meat is Wagyu. But Kobe Pho is too common now. Try Steak Pho or Smoked Kobe Pho, Smoke Kobe and crab fried rice, Kobe Beef stew, Kobe beef curry, Drunken Kobe Steak, everything Kobe…Spinach Smoked Kobe Wrap. If you are in the mood for GOOD BEEF…this is the place…

    Don’t take my word for, try it to believe it and yes under $10..

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