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Noodle Tuesday: Oxtail soup and pho at Pho Bistro 2


If you subscribe to the "hot drink on a hot day to cool you down" theory, then hot noodle soups are a staple for summer.

On a recent hot night, I can't say the oxtail pho at the AC-less Pho Bistro 2 cooled me down at all, but I found enough comfort in the oxtail pieces, meaty and tender, totally faultless, to make all the sweat worth it. 

About a year ago, I rounded up some oxtail soup bowls and asked readers for any other bowls I missed: one of the suggestions was Pho Bistro 2. There are two options here: oxtail pho or oxtail soup with a side of pho noodles. Oxtail pho uses the standard beef pho broth whereas the oxtail soup is full of goodies—peanuts, shiitake mushrooms, fresh ginger, fried shallots—and if there were such a thing as oxtail soup for veggie lovers, this would be it: there's a generous helping of napa and mustard cabbage, carrots and bean sprouts. Nothing too remarkable about the side of pho noodles (rehydrated rice noodles here instead of fresh) and the broth itself is a little bland—lacking beefiness and anise—but like pho broth, easily perked up with some fresh lime and chili sauce.

You get three oxtail chunks, each the size of a toddlers' fist here, which for some, can be too much to finish. But if you don't, mom in the kitchen will come out and scold you, so be prepared to take any leftovers home. They'll take it personally if you don't.

1694 Kalakaua Ave., 949-2727

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