Pho Hien Vuong
Sacramento, CA 95823
Pho Hien Vuong is one of Stockton's multifarious pho joints, located right across the street from the (dearly beloved) SF supermarket. I am not entirely sure if I can identify anything in particular that differentiates the space within, other then that it is clean and Nickeloden cartoons are usually playing for the benefit of little-kid diners. The food, however, is quite tasty, and the menu provides some interesting selections that don't always make the cut at other Vietnamese eateries.
A lotus root salad with shrimp and pork. Delicious, light and fresh, and presented extremely attractively. This is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes - something about the interplay of sweet tangy fish sauce dressing, crunchy lotus root, shrimps and pork is just the perfect thing, even more so on a good hot day. Which it wasn't when I ate this, but, ah, no matter.
My dad went with the perennial classic of beef stew, complete with the tendony bits that give him so much pleasure. A nice rich beef broth, with a good amount of flavor, and plenty of miscellaneous "stuff."
I always seem to order the same thing here: the special noodle soup, with snails, crab, ground pork, and some other miscellaneous stuff (including congealed blood cubes, which i am distinctly ambivalent too). The soup has a gamy, seafoody, delightful flavor that is rather hard to find in another dish, and is elevated any ore with the addition of shrimp paste/sambaal/large amounts of hoisin. I am a big advocate of Soup With Stuff In It and this really fits the bill.
Pho Hien Vuong is a nice option for a good Vietnamese meal if you're out hunting for weird Asian food products on Stockton, or just need some snail-and-crab soup in your life. Check it out.