I finally had a chance to stop by the recently opened pho shop, Pho Capital, located in Trader Joe’s shopping center at the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Pickett Road in Fairfax. It’s a nice place, with a sleek modern look that contrasts with the spartan, cafeteria-like looks of reigning area pho champions Pho 75.
I had a bowl of the Pho Capital Deluxe (which pretty much has everything in it) and an order of garden rolls. The pho itself was decent, but I thought it was too salty and umami-y. Those flavors blew away the anise and other complex tastes and aromas you get out of the best pho.
The garden rolls also had issues, primarily that they seemed to be filled almost completely with shredded lettuce that made the shrimp, pork, and whatever else happened to be in there, impossible to taste. Additionally, they were clearly served right out of the fridge because the two rolls stuck to each other very tightly and tore when I attempted to separate them.
Finally, they didn’t make it clear from a sign or any other indication that they have a $15 minimum to use a credit or debit card. I understand that completely, the big credit card companies charge merchants exorbitant fees and I understand why merchants set minimums for customers to use them. That said, I don’t think it’s asking too much that restaurants make it clear to customers via a sign that there is a credit card minimum so that you can go get cash before sitting down and ordering.
So as you can see, Pho Capital still has a little work to do, but I suspect that it’ll be a good addition to Fairfax once it smooths out some early bumps in the road.