Noodle Mania, Pho Crazy: Phinally more pho

Author: | posted 08/19/13 | Print This Post Print This Post |

Sonoma County is phinally getting more pho! The crave-worthy Vietnamese soup is almost as prevalent as Starbucks in San Francisco and the South Bay, but aside from Pho Vietnam (711 Stony Point, Santa Rosa), Noodle Bowl (821 Russell Ave., Santa Rosa) and Simply Vietnam (966 N. Dutton, Santa Rosa) and Noodle Bowl (817 Russell Ave., Santa Rosa0, not as easy to find around these parts.*

Two new noodle spots have the goods. Noodle Mania (7233 Healdsburg Ave., Sebastopol) has a variety of meaty pho, along with excellent vermicelli noodle bowls, pork buns, pickled veggies with just the right amount of garlic and other Asian-fusian specialties. We were particularly impressed with the chow fun. On the horizon is Pho Crazy, opening at the former Anh Linh (320 W. Third St., Santa Rosa).

*Actually, there are more spots than I thought. I forgot Goji Kitchen and Mai Vietnamese. I’m sure there are others.

  • Vermicelli noodles at Noodle Mania in Sebastopol
  • Chowfun at Noodle Mania in Sebastopol
  • BBQ pork steam buns at Noodle Mania in Sebastopol
  • Fresh rolls at Noodle Mania in Sebastopol
  • Pickled vegetables at Noodle Mania in Sebastopol
  • Wonton soup at Noodle Bowl in Santa Rosa


30 Responses

  1. Stray Cat August 26, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    You forget Kettles Vietnamese Bistro, a relatively new Vietnamese restaurant on Steele Ln, across from Whole Foods in Coddingtown. They have amazing high quality fresh Vietnamese dishes and even wine paring. Check out their menu at http://www.kettlesbistro.com.

  2. AP August 26, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    I don’t know why, but most Vietnamese restaurants seem to be “professionally challenged” in various ways (an exception being Simply Vietnam, which always seems to run like clockwork).

    Simmer’s (Petaluma) food is fairly decent, but you have to watch some of their help carefully. I had a young male server fumble the nuoc mam and dump the entire little bowl of it into my lap. Fish sauce all over my legs… thanks. He absently mumbled “oh, uh, sorry” and then walked away without even so much as offering to go get some napkins for me (and the two paper napkins on the table weren’t exactly up to the job).

    At Pho Ngoc Thanh (also Petaluma), I ordered a papaya salad once and as I was eating it I looked down and saw (fortunately!) a pretty large metal shaving. It was obvious that it had come from the “mandolin,” the kitchen utensil used to grate the papaya. I showed it to the owner lady, who was very blase about it. Not even an “I’m sorry about that” was offered (granted, her English is very poor).

    I have always wondered why Thai restaurants always seem to be really well-managed while Vietnamese restaurants often seem to be barely hacking it…

  3. Untraveled eater August 26, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    Am I wrong? I don’t think Chow Fun, Pork Buns, and Wonton are Vietnamese food yet they are pictured.

    • AP September 24, 2013 at 8:35 am #

      Interesting that our lovely reporter who is in charge of food reporting doesn’t even know that, isn’t it?

      Also, the photo depicting “Chow Fun at Noodle Mania in Sebastopol” is not Chow Fun at all, but Chow Mein. Chow Fun, Heather, are wide, white *rice* noodles… Chow Mein are thinner, cylindrical, light brown wheat noodles.

  4. AC August 24, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Enough with the pho! Can’t we get a decent ramen place already? Where my Japanese peoples at?

  5. stephanie August 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    You forgot Saigon Bistro in Windsor on the town green. I’ve eaten there three times this month, very delicious. Love their rolls and vermicelli!

  6. Bob August 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Mai’s in Cotati is also fantastic pho.

  7. WestCo August 22, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Lee’s Noodle House on Hopper Ave. is excellent! It’s always packed at lunch time.

  8. Kelly August 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    So I count 14 places to get pho here in Sonoma County. Your article could use a rewrite, lol! There are at least five pho restaurants within five miles of my house. You also forgot My Ha up by the airport.

    My current favorite is Goji Kitchen. Excellent all around.

    I thought the broth at Kettles was phenomenal but they are so skimpy with the condiments (basil, lime, sauce etc.) that I stopped going.

    You know what we really have a shortage of up here?! DIM SUM. That’s worth writing about.

    • Stephanie August 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

      Goji Kitchen is my current favorite Vietnamese fusion restaurant. I like how they use Rocky Chicken and local ingredients in their dishes.

  9. Redwood August 21, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Mo Pho 4 Yu:

    Goji Kitchen, SRJC, in the CVS pharmacy lot.

    Place at Dutton and West Third, between dry cleaner and convenience store.

    Check out the Health Department web site for Pho Vietnam. They were having problems years ago, but may have “got the news” now. The soup here is fantastic though.

  10. genny hailey August 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    You forgot Saigon Bistro on Windsor Town Green. Easy, free parking is a bonus!

  11. Dana August 20, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Lee’s Noodle House in Santa Rosa has the best pho ever!

    • Kevin August 20, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Haha, Lee’s noodle House is where I had my first bowl of Pho and instantly fell in love, probably one of my top 3 favorite things to eat! Their Mango Shakes and Fresh Spring Rolls are amazing.

  12. Franco Dunn August 19, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    One of my favorites is Lee’s Noodle House at 1010 Hopper Ln in a little strip mall next to a Fish and Chips place. It is always good. This Sunday, after the Sebastopol Farmers Market, I stopped off at Simply Vietnam for lunch, a bowl of pho with fatty brisket, flank steak and double tendon. It had been three months since I was last there. It was fantastic!

  13. karov laika August 19, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    “Noodle Palace: on Petaluma Hill Road

  14. Binnybinbin August 19, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    Noodle Palace in Santa Rosa!!!!!

  15. Lost Len August 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Saigon Bistro Restaurant in Windsor
    See my reviews on Yelp

  16. Sheri August 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    Why is it almost impossible to find veggie Pho made with veggie stock??

    • Pablo August 19, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

      Noodle mania has veggie Pho (made from vegetable stock)

    • Kevin August 20, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Probably because that sounds terrible.

    • Karen August 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

      Thank you for your question, we have the same problem when dining out. Many restaurants think that the stock doesn’t count when it is listed as vegetarian or even vegan. We especially avoid any fish/ seafood items, one of the most overlooked ingredient used in Asian food.

    • Redwood August 21, 2013 at 9:14 am #


      Finding veggie food in CA is a lot easier than in Cambodia or Viet Nam. Goji Kitchen, Santa Rosa, in the shopping center at Mendocino and Steele Lane may have veggie.

    • Suzanne August 24, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      Kettles Bistro across the street from Coddingtown has vegetarian pho, with lots of veggies and veggie stock.

  17. Pho Nut August 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    And, I don’t know the names, but there are at least 2 Vietnamese restaurants in Petaluma. One is in the plaza with Bank of America and Trader Joes. The other is in the plaza with Orchard Supply Hardware.

    • That Guy August 20, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      Simmer Vietnamese is SOOOO good in Petaluma, just opened! Its about time they open a good Pho spot in Petaluma… Their Pho is awesome and so are the rice/noodle plates. Definitely my go to spot.

      I really hope you weren’t talking about Thang Long though being the “good spot.” That place is terrible. I remember it took them almost 30 minutes to bring me my first glass of water and to take my order, then when I got my pho after almost an hour of waiting, their was clearly hair floating in it and they didn’t care. They told me to take it out and that it wasn’t hair, but “strings from the sprouts”

      • Eric August 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

        The “good spot” is Pho Ngoc Thong, over by Orchard Supply Hardware. I prefer their pho to Simmer’s, though Simmer has them beat on entrees and has good beer on tap.

      • Anthony Tusler August 20, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

        I’m sorry to hear about your experience at Thang Long. I’ve been going there for years and have always had good meals.

  18. Shana Bull (formally known as Shana Ray) August 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    And Kettles Vietnamese Bistro (only one with vegetarian pho)!

    … Looking forward to trying others – especially when the weather turns into fall! Mmmmm.

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