A few years ago, some website's list of "Things to Eat in San Jose" or something used a photo from my blog post in which I was eating pho. This website ran an ad on the side bar of Facebook so many people saw my photo online (with no attributions or link back to my site, boo). For a brief moment, my face was synonymous with Vietnamese people eating pho in San Jose. And that is absolutely so true because I love pho!
Pho never goes out of style in San Jose. We generally welcome all forms of traditional and experimental versions. When SimpleViet, a new eatery in south San Jose offered me a complimentary meal to try their semi-customized fast casual Vietnamese food, I was ready to chow down.
HOW IT WORKS
You can order signature dishes of Pho, bowls, banh mi, or spring rolls. Or you can customize your own combo of meat, carb, dressing, and add-ons. $8.95 for pho or bowls. $7.95 for banh mi. $7.95 for 3 rolls. $11.95 for a meal. You can also include extra add ons for additional cost. Dine-in or order online for pick up and delivery options.
The signature pho was served in a compostable paper bowl which never got soggy and never leaked during the meal. Yay! All the greens and herbs were so fresh as advertised and there's loads of everything in this tiny bowl. It looks small but contains a regular sized bowl portion that you could get at other stores. The broth is delicate and tasty.
The bowls here are where you can really start to customize. There are 4 starch base options, 5 proteins, and 5 sauces along with loads of fresh toppings. We tried the vermicelli bowl with teriyaki beef and the vinaigrette and garlic aioli sauces. The garlic aioli sauce is great, I just wouldn't drown the bowl in it but definitely dip any of the meats into it.
We also sampled the lemon grass chicken (left) and signature honey-glazed pork (right). Both were great. The pork is the best which is probably why they put it in the signature bowl.
Here are the 5 sauces all with fusion influence.
Lastly, I tried the signature rolls with salt and pepper poached shrimp. The portion is a decent size for rolls. I normally prefer mine with more herbaceous greens which is lacking in these rolls in favor of lighter yet still fresh flavors of pickled carrots and daikon, lettuce, and cucumber.
SimpleViet is located in an easily accessible plaza off Bernal Road. There are many small companies nearby and it is a great lunch spot. The pho and bowl prices are comparable as many other locations charge the same. The portion size is good for the price and the ingredients are definitely fresh. Everything is made in house. They have done a great job with introducing new sauces to Vietnamese cuisine. The service is speedy and ambiance is casual. It makes a great place for take out because you order at the front.
125 Bernal Rd, Unit 60
San Jose, CA 95119