Home Cooking from Laos: Noodles PHO ME

Laos is a small landlocked country in Southeast Asia where my father grew up. The country is heavily influenced by Thai and Vietnamese foods, but incorporates its own unique style and flavor. Noodles Pho Me does a wonderful job in bringing out authentic Laotian flavors reminding me of my grandmas home cooking.


Noodles Pho Me is located in San Leandro which is a bit of a drive from San Francisco. You will have to cross the Bay Bridge which is always jam packed with traffic during the daytime. The total drive was about 40 minutes, but since I was headed toward area, it was on the way.


Noodles Pho Me has a simple and clean menu, headlined by its 3 main dishes: Khao Soy, Pho, and Khao Poon. Khao Soy is a tomato and pork based broth. Pho is a beef and herb based broth and Khao Poon is a coconut milk based broth. What really made this place stand out was the broth sampler that was severed. This allowed me to try each broth and decide which noodle soup to order.


Delicious Papaya Salad

After a tough struggle, Jen and I decided to order a mild papaya salad and one Khao Soy per person. Jen went with the standard Khao Soy, while I had one with seafood. The hint of tomato was a perfect compliment to rich pork flavor, creating a savory broth. The Khao Soy also contained fermented soybeans which added depth to the broth’s saltiness. The ground pork was coooked well. The seafood mix containing fishballs, fishcake, and shrimp made the dish tastier. The flavors were well refined leaving me wanting more after each bite.

Bowl of Delicious Khao Soy


I thoroughly enjoyed the meal. The flavors of the Khao Soy reminded my of Laotian home cooking. The flavors were well refined yet hard hitting with each bite. The friendly staff left a wonderful impression of what the restaurant is all about. While this place is a bit out of the way, I would definitely come here again. If you are in the area, do give this place a try.

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