OBAO « blogging for burgers

Tag Archive for 'OBAO'

OBAO. I can't think of a clever phrase to match the acronym.

Last week, I wandered out of my new office space with a solid 8.6 out of 10 on the hunger scale.  Onya seemed like a viable option, but 47th Street was a bit far from the new spot on 54th.  However, noodles sounded like a good option that would be decently filling without being too unhealthy or pricey.

I then remembered back to OBAO, which opened late last year.  I hadn’t read too much about it except for ML’s early look of it, and I was definitely down for some pho.  That said, I walked in with only limited knowledge of what I was going to be eating, except for Michael Huynh’s break-neck speed of expansion and his strong reputation from Baogette and Barbao (both of which are on the BG duo’s list, and the latter of which will be a part of the eUWS project).

So, I walked down to the former bunchberries space on 53rd street.  Since it was a relatively slow day at the office, I decided to eat in.  The place was not too crowded, although people were still around.  Hopefully it will become more crowded as it stays open longer.  I sat down in a bright table at the front of the place so that I had something to look at, since I hadn’t planned on eating at a table alone.

The menu is pretty extensive, with a collection of Vietnamese and Thai inspired dishes, including noodle and rice dishes, and of course, some soups.  Since I only had pho on my mind, I went straight for the Pho Bo, which has thinly sliced beef and a beef ginger sauce, and of course the noodles.

A few minutes after ordering, I was presented with the main event.

The pho came with a side bowl with bean sprouts, thai basil, and some sliced jalepenos.  The pho itself was chock full of meat that was still cooking in the hot broth, which was laden with thinly sliced red onions and scallions.  I took a quick taste and found the broth to be a bit too delicate for my palate, although I was definitely catching the beef and ginger flavor.  I added a splash of sriracha and the whole lot of basil and jalepenos, and a tiny dash of soy, to try to increase the richness of the broth.  You can even see in the picture that the broth is not super rich in color, even after I had doctored it up a little bit.

The beef and noodles themselves were good, but after having been to Onya so many times now, I was left wanting more richness and depth of flavor.  Even with the addition of the salty umami-bombs, I wasn’t quite getting the pho to its full potential.  Even so, at $9, I wasn’t complaining.  All in all, it’s a great addition to the neighborhood when I’m looking for a quick Asian fix and am too lazy to walk seven blocks.  I might branch out within the menu though, based on some of the pics from ML.

53rd St. off Third Ave.