Pho Crazy, Santa Rosa

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Fried tofu with tomatoes at Pho Crazy in Santa Rosa

Fried tofu with tomatoes at Pho Crazy in Santa Rosa

Pho Crazy: First a mea culpa. I few weeks ago, I mentioned that it could be hard to find good Vietnamese food around these parts. A flood of comments and pull-asides saying, “Are you nuts?” lent me to rethink my hasty comment. Clearly, I was incorrect. Or perhaps just not paying close enough attention.

I’ve since been to a spate of great local restaurants focused on pho and other southeast Asian specialties. One of the newest additions is Pho Crazy (320 W. Third St., Santa Rosa, 707-595-4447) in the former Anh Linh space. The pho ($8.25 to $11) is solid, with big chunks of brisket and savory “beef balls” (not what you think), though Pho Vietnam (711 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa) and Noodle Mania (7233 Healdsburg Ave., Sebastopol) remain my benchmarks. My surprise fave: Tomatoes Tofu ($9.50), a dish of fried tofu sautéed in tomatoes. Don’t miss dessert: Vietnamese Che with red, white and mung beans and palm seeds ($3.50). It’s a unique, authentically Vietnamese taste worth trying.

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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  1. We dined at Pho Crazy last week. The Organic Tofu Rolls are made to order and very tasty though they arrived after the main courses. The accompanying peanut sauce is lacking flavor. The Fried Game Hen Egg Noodle Soup was overcooked and dry. The owner came over toward the end of our meal and asked how everything was. We commented on the Hen Soup. She mentioned that she had noticed, back in the kitchen, that it wasn’t freshly made and, in fact, that it had been made a while ago. We declined her offer to make us a fresh Hen Soup. Goji Kitchen has superior, timely service.

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  2. I tried Pho Crazy last week and I was impressed with the cleanliness, the service and the food. I frequented Anh Linh because my wife loved their won ton soup. Good news, she reports Pho Crazy’s is even better! I enjoyed the pho but it didn’t quite live up to the standards of Pho Vietnam and Noodle Palace. Still very good though. We all have our different tastes, for example, I am always amazed at people who rave about Simply Vietnam, as I find their pho broth insipid and lifeless. But that’s what’s great about having so many pho places around SoCo, we can all find something to our taste. To those worried about not being brought your bill: Just walk up to the counter when you’re ready to pay, it’s standard practice at a lot of Vietnamese places.

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    • I am from Honolulu and have been very Pho spoiled. I think Pho Vietnam is the best SR has to offer.
      Now..if we could just get a really good Korean place…

    • Pho Vietnam does have good food, but the main lady who I think is the owner is very rude! Simply Vietnam off of W 3rd is great food more flavor and GREAT service.

  3. No one has mentioned Goji Kitchen?! Really? Love their Chicken Noodle, plus they have great appetizers. Service has always been great for me. Take out takes no more than 15 minutes. Big plus… no MSG, fresh ingredients. On Mendocino Ave, SR.

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  4. Went for lunch about 3 weeks ago at Pho Crazy…ordered combination beef pho, guess what?? They didn’t have any! Actually didn’t have any beef broth. Really? Seriously, it was during lunch time. It was a disappointment especially coming from a “Pho” joint. And it was my first time there too, what a shocker!

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    • Are the owners of Pho Crazy the same owners as what was Anh Linh?

    • No, don’t think so. Talked to one of the new owners during construction. Got the impression they were from out of town.

  5. Noodle Bowl off of Russell and Cleveland is awesome! Nice owners and the best banh mi ever!

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    • Amen!

  6. anyone know if you can get soup dumplings in SoCo?

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  7. P.S. BTW

    My Ha Vietnamese, Airport Rd. S.R. If you are fond of buffet. This is the place to go. I love their spicy shrimp in creamy sauce. A must try! They rotate their menus so call first to make sure that they serve this dish. I always enjoy their fried chicken wings. So addicting. I am not fond of their pho and BBQs.

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  8. My Vietnamese RestaurantsReview:

    Pho Vietnam Stony Point S.R. has good BBQs. Their pho is satisfactory. The place does not have a relaxing ambiance. The service is harried, sometimes you get a smile, sometimes not. Their peanut sauce is the best though.

    Mai Restaurant in Cotati. Love the relaxing ambiance. Great service. I just tried their Chicken soup with wontons – superb! . If you haven’t tried Vietnamese savory crepe banh xeo. This is the place to try. We tried their lettuce wraps, delish. Their prices are a lot higher, but it is worth it- ingredients are fresh and not too salty. I prefer Pho Vietnam’s BBQs and peanut sauce than Mai’s.

    Noodle Palace, Petaluma Hill Rd. S.R. I love their spicy lemongrass chicken. Their pork chop BBQs are thin sliced and good!! Good pho. Great service with a smile. I keep coming back. A nice lunch joint. They have good banh mi.

    Simply Vietnam Dutton Av., A while back, I enjoyed their pork meatballs. The last time I visited, the meatballs had a funky taste and felt sick. Never came back since. Hard to find parking.

    Lee’s Noodle House Airway and Hopper, S.R.. It has been a while since I’ve visited. They serve banh mi a while back.

    Noodle Bowl off of Cleveland has good, nice price banh mi.

    I will try Pho Crazy tomorrow.

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  9. I’m a fan of Mai Vietnamese in Cotati (on Gravenstein just west of 101). Good pho, good service, and I can get durian or avocado (my fave, it’s amazing) milkshakes!

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    • I agree, Dana! Mai Vietnamese is great. The owner and her husband are incredibly gracious, too, and the ambiance is lovely and relaxed. We love going here! (PS The other restaurants in this “strip mall” by Johnny’s Java are equally wonderful! Hidden gems in Cotati!)

  10. Totally agree about the rude/bad service at Pho Vietnam but that’s why I never eat my food there- always take it to go. It’s consistently good and agree with previous poster about the bun-vermicelli with BBQ Pork and spring roll. My personal favorite…

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  11. Pho Vietnam is awful! The service is some of the worst I have ever seen. So rude and so slow. The last time I went there (to order take out) the lady at the cash register actually threw the menu at me and glared.
    Also – no one else is worried about the flies that are always buzzing around?

    On the other side Simply Vietnam is just the best. So nice and clean. I crave their pho at least twice a month. Best place IMO.

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  12. You completely forgot about Simply Vietnam at 966 N. Dutton, SR. They beat Pho Vietnam hands down for the best Pho around.

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    • I second this, Simply Vietnam is simply amazing. Please, do yourself a favor and check this place out

    • This is the best. My 93 year old dad just visited here and went crazy over the pho. We went there twice while he was here…

  13. Heather, recently I tried Pho Gnoc(I think its spelled?) in Petaluma, pretty good and worth a try. I’ve been frequenting Kettles of late they grow their herbs right out side the restaurant. My benchmark is Mai Vietnamese Cuisine in RoPo. I’ve heard good things about the Bun at Noodle Palace in South Park. Can’t wait to try PV and the one one in Windsor.

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  14. Pho Vietnam is great, and as Heather notes, it sets the benchmark. Try the bun noodles with BBQ pork, the spring rolls, the seafood noodle soup, and of course, the Pho. (There is nothing like going in on a rainy winter’s day, with the steam and the scent of freshly torn basil permeating the whole restaurant.) They don’t have bahn mi, but the service is quick, and the family that owns it is passionate about their food. Check it out…

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    • I have to agree with the criticism of the service at Pho Vietnam. They should be a little more passionate about their service and being pleasant to customers. Last time we were there we couldn’t get our bill because we couldn’t get our server. She was busy talking on her cell phone and jawing with some regulars up at the counter. We had to go up and request our bill. I think we’re kind of done going there now. It wasn’t the first time we’ve had bad service there.

  15. Saigon Bistro in Windsor on the Town Green. Excellent.

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  16. I like Kettles over by codding town… good Pho and great Banh me sammys!

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  17. hang ah restaurant, SR has dimsum style dishes
    also try fresh china coddingtown, SR for siumai
    new china, cleveland av. SR. has good pot stickers. they are generous portions potstickers~
    i enjoy mai vietnamese chicken egg noodle soup with wontons. so good! enjoy!

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