Pho Dakao | 15532 Ward St., Garden Grove, CA

The best part of destination weddings? Destination Lunches. Since we were on our way to Dana Point for a wedding weekend, I took the opportunity to drive through Little Saigon for some solid Vietnamese lunch.

Chicken Pho is one of my favorite things in the world, so when I heard about Pho Dakao, I had no choice to but to check it out. Even the menu was calling out to me: 

Who doesn't love a chicken pic on a menu?

There were tons of chicken choices, but I went straight for a Chicken Pho, with skinless white meat only. You can also get it with tendrils, dark meat and skin. 

The broth was absolutely on point. Clear, crisp and flavorful. Unlike other broths that need hoisen and sriracha added to the broth to make it eatable, this one needed nothing. I obviously put some on the side for chicken dips, but the broth was perfection all on its own. The noodles were of the flat rice noodle variety, of which I'm not the biggest fan (same ones at Nong La), but still good. I prefer the larger vermichelli noodles. The chicken was tender and fresh, and I appreciated that there were big chunks of freshly cut chicken rather than thin carved slices, which usually dry out. It also got served with a fish sauce/vinegar/ginger/chili sauce, which was pretty ridiculous. 

If you're in the area, this is probably as good as it gets, but I don't think I'd drive to all the way to Garden Grove for it - we have some pretty decent chicken pho on the Westside (Vien Cafe and Mamma Hongs).

DishRanker Chicken Pho Score:  +3

My wife had the dry chicken pho with grilled chicken, vermichelli noodles, and all of the other pho ingredients, including broth, served on the side. Something like a deconstructed chicken pho. If you're not into have a full-on noodle soup, this would be a great alternative. (no pic - sorry!)