- 4650 W. Ina Road, Tucson, AZ, 85741
- Overall User Rating:
- (0 ratings)
- Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m, Sun. 12-9 p.m.
What was ordered: Pho bo (No. 27 beef noodle soup) with rare tenderloin and broiled beef slices ($7.95), bun (No. 40 vermicelli noodle salad) with grilled prawns ($7.95), coconut tea ($2.25) for a total of $19.62 within our Cheap Eats goal of a meal for two for less than $20.
Comments: For all you snooty fans of Vietnamese fare, no, I haven't slurped pho in Los Angeles, so I'm not properly experienced to trash the pho served here as you all so love to do.
But you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing, and you don't have to be an Angeleno to know what good pho tastes like.
You also don't need to be a weatherman to know how polluted the air is in L.A. Hey, wait a minute. Maybe that's why people think the pho is so superior there. Compared to the air they're breathing, just about anything would seem to taste stupendously superior.
Anyway, for my nonexperienced taste, the modest little UA-area Miss Saigon at 1072 N. Campbell Ave. has been serving up some of Tucson's best pho since it opened seven years ago.
The new, Northwest side Miss Saigon is nothing like the first, the owners having taken over what was a Perkin's Restaurant & Bakery and made it over into a downright posh, hip and roomy expanse complete with a full bar.
One step inside the place will have you thinking you wouldn't even come close to meeting the Cheap Eats ceiling of $20, but it's almost as easy to do as it is at the original Miss Saigon, and based on a recent visit, just as satisfying.
The pho broth in the No. 27 beef noodle soup ($7.95) had that magically rich yet lighter-than-air flavor, an exquisite balance of savory and sweet components that turn the accompanying ingredients—vermicelli noodles, fresh basil and bean sprouts and, in our case, rare tenderloin and broiled beef slices—into a subtle symphony of beautiful power. The serving of rare tenderloin was generous and of excellent quality. The broiled beef slices were a little leathery and dry by comparison, but just about any other type of beef suffers in comparison to the rare tenderloin. Next time, we'll just order double the tenderloin and skip any of the other beef options, which include tripe, "beef balls" and "flanks and tendons."
The No. 40 vermicelli noodle salad ($7.95) we ordered with grilled prawns featured seven medium-to-large sized shrimp nicely charred, which also struck us a generous portion for the price. In addition to the noodles, the dish came with meticulously shredded lettuce, cucumbers, bean sprouts, sauteed green onion and a sprinkle of ground peanuts. Two dipping sauces—one a rice wine vinegar with shredded carrots and the other an excellently gauged teaming of coconut milk, red pepper, and fish sauce—worked wonders with the dish, individually and in concert.
Service: Tableside service was prompt and friendly, though the server wasn't overly knowledgeable of the menu.
Bottom line: Though Miss Saigon offers eight different lunch specials for $7.95 that include a cup of soup, this notably upscale newbie really deserves a dinner visit, not just for the slick accommodations but for the excellent fare.