although i was born in michigan, i've been living in the bay area since 1980. i grew up in san josé's almaden valley. then i moved to berkeley in 1993 for school. i returned to the silicon valley (america's _real_ heartland) in 2002 for my wife's work and also went through grad school here and found a good job in the semiconductor industry. anyway, i thought in knew all the ins and outs of the valley including a little this and that about the not-so-mainstream but huge vietnamese community here. i thought i knew all the good pho joints. then one day, a young, korean-american kid from castro valley comes down 880 and tells me he knows the best pho place in san josé. i didn't buy it, not for a second, but he was driving us, so i figured i wouldn't protest.
wow! whadya know? i was flabbergasted. yes, pho bang _is_ the best pho place i've been to in san josé, i now believe. that place used to be a hong kong style chinese restaurant years ago.
what can i say about the restaurant? well, it's a pho joint, nothing fancy. it appears that you might be able to dine outside, but i'm not totally sure. the place ain't too clean, but few _good_ pho joints are, right?