Cheap Eats 2011: Pho Xe Lua

A bowl of pho is a bowl of pho is a bowl of pho–or so you might think. The same tangle of packaged noodles, the same paper-thin cuts of meat, the same platter of herbs-as-condiments. So why single out this Eden Center soup parlor?

Because its oxtail-simmered broth is superior to the dozens of versions we’ve slurped down elsewhere–note the consommé-like clarity and the delicate perfume it sends up in tiny puffs of steam. The noodles, too, are an upgrade. The inclusion of pleasantly bitter sawtooth herb among the add-on pile of fresh basil, mint and bean sprouts is likewise a plus.

Also good: Bowls with well-done brisket and beef tendon or with well-done brisket and flank and eye-round steak; a bowl with just pork meatball.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.