05 November 2010

pho-k me: pho 14, 75013

I finally got around to checking out Pho 14 in the 13ème. No wine interest whatsoever there, so I won't go into it at length, except to say that it was probably the best pho I've had in my life.

I used to live in LA, where it's sort of a given that the tiny ethnic joints - Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, El Salvadorian, etc. - contain the best food in the city. Paris couldn't be more different; too often the foreign food here is miserably over-adapted to the local tastes, which means a total lack of salt or spice.* Not so at Pho 14, where the pho was also distinguished by the freshness of the beef, the fineness of the tripe, and the focused clarity of the broth. I was kind of blown away.

*We watched as the two teenage French girls next to us carefully removed everything flavorful from their pho, right down to the last onion sliver and coriander leaf, before tucking in. 

Pho 14
129, avenue de Choisy
75013 PARIS
Metro: Tolbiac
Tel: 01 45 83 61 15


  1. We have the French to thank for Pho. People often assume that Pho is an ancient recipe developed thousands of years ago. But in actuality Pho came into existence a century ago. Before the French came, Vietnamese never even considered eating beef. Cows were just used to till the rice fields. Then the french came and said "hey, maybe you should try eating beef; it's pretty tasty." We basically tried to make our version of beef bourguignon but we didn't have much wine so we used fish sauce instead.

  2. I'd read about that! Presumably the far-flung French traders of the era were hardier or more tolerant of spice than their homebound descendants...