Lots of Philippino and Japanese in South Bay. Their veggies are better than Sprouts! Great mushroom and eggplant selections. They even have lumpfish caviar that Trader Joe’s doesn’t stock any longer. It’s a real resource for South Bay!
Saigon 5 at 99 Ranch Balboa now serves what I think is very respectable pho. It’s changed; at least I believe so. The broth is now subtle and better tasting. The sprouts and basil are now provided in a small bowl on the side. Very nice improvements. And the pho noodles themselves are nicely cooked.
I recently had their pho with meatballs and it was very satisfying. Recommended.
I really like this little spot. The pho, bun, and bahn mi are all quite good.
And now I see there’s going to be yet another Asian market opening in the same general area in Kearny Mesa /South Clairemont. An H-Mart is taking the spot occupied for many years by a large former sporting goods store at Balboa and 805.
One has to wonder how many Asian grocery stores there can be in the same general area before “market” (so to speak) saturation is reached.
Hey, Asian market chains. We could use an Asian market in north county.
Haha I know @Encinitan. It’s like the 56 is some magical Rubicon that Asian markets can’t cross despite plenty of API folks (and non API folks who like to shop for API items) north of the 56
I mean apparently Irvine has enough to support 2 99Ranches, an H Mart, a Zion, and a Mitsuwa…I know the concentration and demographics are different but apparently it can be done!
Sounds like it can indeed be done, from what you’ve said.
In SD, the Balboa/Convoy area has become an Asian food district; a logical parallel.
The menu at Saigon 5 in 99 Ranch keeps changing, and I’ve recently had a soup (four times) called Fujian noodles. It comes with a crispy thin fried biscuit, on top of which there is a whole shrimp (including tail, feet, and eyeballs), that I really like. Except for the eyeballs, which I can’t deal with.
The soup itself is very different from what one normally gets at small pho places. There are two kinds of noodles in it: fat egg noodles and thin rice noodles. Very tasty broth, but I like to add a splash of the red vinegar that’s at the counter before eating. (And some jalapeno slices.)
Who knows what this little hidden spot will offer tomorrow. All I know is that the menu has changed at least three or four times.
These days, though, they’ve stopped giving you an Asian spoon! Awful. Shame on them.
So I bought 50 disposable plastic Asian spoons from Amazon and now carry one with me when I go to 99 Ranch on Balboa. You just can’t eat Vietnamese or other Asian soup in a big bowl with a tiny, straight spoon.