Pho Y #1 Noodle House, San Jose
California is allegedly home to one of the biggest Vietnamese populations in the world outside of Vietnam itself, and east San Jose is one of those hotspots. This place (1660 Capitol Expressway at Silver Creek Road in the Silver Creek Market Place) came as a recommendation from a Vietnamese acquaintance, and indeed, the place was filled with patrons today.
It doesn't get much simpler than this. They don't mess around with any of those spring rolls, dry noodle bowls, or sandwiches here. They only serve one thing here: pho, and the only choice was how many of the ten-odd different cuts of beef (or in one case, chicken...apparently an American localization element) that you want in here, with an option for a large bowl (US$5.55 vs the regular US$4.75). It is also rather unique in that the bean sprouts come out pre-boiled for you. I'm not sure why they did so (and I admit that I was a bit disappointed to see this since I love the taste of raw bean sprouts), but at least it wasn't excessively boiled, and it didn't really make that much of a difference in the end as it all went down with one of the better and lighter broths that I've had. The meat quality here was pretty good too, thus explaining why this place was so popular. (I noticed a number of patrons here keeping raw slices of beef on a side plate and dipping them in instead - a technique that I must try next time.)
OK, they did have another thing on the menu: drinks (basically the left side of the menu is all the various beef cuts that you can put into your pho, while the right side of the menu is all drinks). So I got my usual soda chanh to accompany the bowl, and the obligatory ca phe sua da drip coffee to close this all up. The ca phe sua da here was particularly strong without that much milk, thus giving it a rather bitter, but robust, punch. Anyway, this place was a good call and will definitely be earmarked for the future. I know too that if this place ever gets too crowded, then I can always go to another place across the street that I've come to know as being relatively dependable too, the ever-descriptively named "Beef Noodle #1."