Words & Deeds

‘Deep, Vietnamese’ taste: New Boise restaurant opens, creating Asian dining row

Should you add fish sauce and Sriracha to pho? Or just dip noodles and meat into Sriracha on the side? Pho preferences can differ depending on taste and region.
Should you add fish sauce and Sriracha to pho? Or just dip noodles and meat into Sriracha on the side? Pho preferences can differ depending on taste and region. mdeeds@idahostatesman.com

Owner-chef Bobby Do is less than two hours away from debuting his new restaurant, yet he sounds completely calm.

“It’s not my first rodeo,” he explains with a laugh.

Do, who ran Ichiban Japanese restaurant on Broadway Avenue for nine years, is feeling good about his latest concept: Pho Tay Vietnamese Noodles.

Pho Tay brings tasty, satisfying soup to a busy part of the city. It also adds firepower to a growing Asian restaurant strip in Boise.

Housed in the former Taj Mahal restaurant space at 10548 W. Fairview Ave., Pho Tay is the third Asian dining option at Fairview Plaza West. A few doors down are China Grand Buffet, a longtime staple, and Rotary Sushi, which opened in 2015.

Call it Asian row — a one-stop spot with culinary variety from the largest continent on Earth.

“We’re trying to be,” Do says. “Hopefully somebody else will pop in another one with a little bit more choices.”

Pho Tay opened Dec. 13 with a one-page menu anchored by the house specialty. A popular Vietnamese street food, pho is made with noodles, broth, meat and herbs.

Do says he will expand Pho Tay’s menu in early 2018, adding more vegan and gluten-free options, plus refining dishes.

He hopes to whet the appetites of Boise diners ranging from Vietnamese immigrants to transplants from bigger-city restaurant scenes.

“Nowadays, pho is everywhere,” Do says. “In Japan, in Korea, in China. ... There’s no standard. You set your standard.”

Pho Tay will take a regional route, Do says, with “deep, deep” flavor catering to “Vietnamese taste.”

Pho Tay’s pho dac biet, or beef pho, costs $7 to $13, based on size. It comes with thin-sliced ribeye, brisket and flank, with the option of tendon and meatballs.

The rest of Pho Tay’s initial menu includes four kinds of appetizer rolls ($6), two Vietnamese sandwiches ($6) and six house specials ($11-$15).

Pho Tay offers take-out. Order by phone at (208) 377-1775. Check out Pho Tay on Facebook at facebook.com/photay.boise.

The restaurant’s hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

In other words, when you’ve got that craving for Asian comfort food?

“Almost anytime, you can eat pho if you wish,” Do says.

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