Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Aug 28th
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

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual