I wanted to get pho last night but since I have eaten at Pho Saigon one million times I decided to go somewhere else. I don't like to use yelp usually but in this case I checked it out. I was surprised to see that Pho Saigon was not that highly rated. Bon Mua had about a half-star above it and I hadn't tried it so I figured why not. We started with their chicken salad, served with rice crackers. Pho King 2 serves this same dish (peanuts, cilantro, lime, fish sauce, shredded chicken, cucumber, some more stuff) and theirs is sooooo much better and fresher tasting. In fact, I even had a second biting into this one where I wondered if I was going to get food poisoning, just because it tasted rather old. I totally did not.
At Saigon the rare steak with tendon is always my jam, but I was not about to order tendon at a place unless I knew that everything else was good. At Bon Mua the specialty is New York steak pho (rather odd) so I went with that. You can see above that they use wide flat rice noodles and that they are skimpy with the scallion and white onion.
The meat is lovely and has a more luscious (uh) mouthfeel, but the broth was lacking the flavor and spice of Saigon and I missed that damn tendon. It was fun to try a new place and I was happy to confirm that Saigon is my by far favorite pho and I'm not missing out on something better. I'd be happy for pho recommendations, though!