Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Jan 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A+ Pho

dining_AsianExpressCan't decide between Chinese, Thai, or Vietnamese food? At Capitola's new Asian Express you can enjoy all three. As an added bonus, they make an exceptional bowl of pho (which approximately rhymes with duhhh), a Vietnamese noodle soup.

At Asian Express, nestled between Starbucks and Togo's in the Ross building of the Capitola Mall, various appetizers, entrées and side dishes wait in warming trays at the counter. Choose from a single entrée and side ($4.50), two entrées ($5.49), or three ($6.39).

The chow mein noodles were mixed with vegetables and pieces of omelet. Rice was fried with peas, carrots and eggs. Chili-flecked beef and carrots in a dark sauce were topped with roasted potatoes, and lollipop chicken drumettes were coated with a sweet, caramelized sauce. Two long Fresh Spring Rolls ($2.95) were stuffed with parsley, mint leaves, lettuce, green onions, noodles and a couple of big shrimps.

Asian Express has kicked upthe level of local pho a number of notches. The light-colored house-made beef broth is richly seasoned with tropical spices. Thin pieces of beef top the made-to-order Rare Steak and Beef Balls Noodle Soup ($6.75). Hemispherical meatballs of finely ground beef are also house-made. The Chicken Noodle Soup ($7.25), often prepared with beef broth, is made here with chicken stock.

I ordered the more traditional Asian Beef Noodle Soup ($7.25). Joining the steak and meatballs were strips of roast beef, red and green onions and cilantro. Creamy white prickled curls of tripe were slightly chewy and mildly flavored. The soup was served with a plate of traditional accessories including purple-stemmed Thai basil, fresh lime and bean sprouts. I alternated between Indonesian Srirachi chili sauce, sweet, dark hoisin, and smooth red chili paste on the slurpy chopsticks of noodles. They tell me more pho variations will be offered in the future.


Asian Express, 1955 41st Ave., Ste. A-2, Capitola, 476-9999. Open daily 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Comments (4)Add Comment
Great Writing!
written by Gloria Park, January 16, 2013
What a well written article. I appreciate the attention to details...and the descriptions of the food! Makes my mouth water. I will definitely have to check it out.
Sweet!
written by JD, September 22, 2010
I agree with Alex, I grew up in San Jose moved to Santa Cruz and now FINALLY have something closer than San Jose with real pho....
FINALLY!
written by alex p, August 05, 2010
As good as the pho I normally drive to San Jose to get. THE REAL THING and LOCAL!
A+ Pho is great!
written by Corine Csermelyi, July 23, 2010
I originally was raised in a big city where a tasty bowl of Pho was to be found just around the corner. Since I moved to Aptos I have never spotted a Pho restaurant in the area, so while on my way to the Capitola mall the other night, I was craving something wholesome and yummy and to my surprise there stood this new Vietnamese restaurant. I loved that the owner was such a attentive host. When I said I didn't have enough money he was kind enough to let me slide a few dollars and pay the rest the next time I came back. I also appreciated the huge portions and the fresh herbs that came along with the soup. It was all very delicious and made me feel nostalgic for home. Since, I have returned to pay back what I owed and to satisfy my cravings once again. I definitely will continue to return and spread the word to friends on this wholesome and yummy tasting Pho. smilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gifsmilies/tongue.gif

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots