Hearing that “Ciao Bella”, the Italian restaurant that used to be on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach, now housed “OB Pho and Seafood”, I had to reread my review of Ciao Bella written many months ago; I had mentioned that they were serving to a full house; the food was fair, but too expensive for what was being served. My final line was that I probably would not be back.
Today, after “corresponding” with a reader of my articles on the OB RAG for over a year, Eric called and suggested that we meet. In discussing where that might be I mentioned that I had driven by OB Pho today and wondered if it was open yet. We decided to meet in front of the restaurant and if it was, we would eat there.If not, we would walk to somewhere else and have a meal there.
The restaurant was open and it was a déjà vu moment when we crossed the threshold, for nothing had been changed. There was still the charming scenes painted on the wall that was there when it was the Italian restaurant.
We were greeted by both Danny and Leslie, a young lady that looked very familiar to me. Turns out that she is a twin; her sister works at the “Pirate’s Cove Tiki Port” – one of my favorite coffee places – , and she used to work at the “Pirate’s Cove” that was in the Apple Tree parking lot.
In talking to Danny, our waiter, he said that there were no plans right now to change anything. The menu is still in a state of flux and until it is settled they will leave things as they are.
The menu is very extensive, and Danny told us about the Maine lobster special, that was replete with salad and drinks. It cost $11.95. Fresh Maine lobster for $11.95! A bargain. It was such a bargain that neither Eric nor I ordered it.
We decided to split a Pho (beef noodle soup) and ordered the “Rare Steak” ($6.75) and the House Special Combo – (shrimp, pork, tofu, and rice, cucumbers, etc.) The cost was $9.95.
Everything was delightful; served hot; good flavors; and complimented by the plate of sprouts, noodles and jalapeno’s. (A word to the wise: Eric was not prepared for the degree of hotness from the jalapeno. They are spicy so be careful when eating them.)
We each ordered the Pho tea, which was very tasty. There was a charge for the refill, but Leslie wasn’t aware of that until we placed the order. She came back to tell us and asked if we still wanted to have them. We both said yes. Danny offered Eric a third refill and told him the cost was on him. It tasted so good that Eric would have paid to have another refill.
When we first arrived at the restaurant at 6:30pm there was only one other table being served. By the time we left at 8:45pm the place was almost full. There seemed to be many people coming in and ordering take-out as well as people eating at the tables.
Our service was excellent; the food was wonderful, and there is no question that both Eric and I will return again – whether with others or together. Enjoy!