Pho Lee ~ Escondido

So, I was trying to decide where to go for lunch today and cover for the website. I narrowed it down to three places last night and then ended up going somewhere completely different. Which is usually what happens, so I don’t know why I go through the whole process anyway.

I ended up grabbing Chef Ian Smith at the end of his shift and going to have Pho at a new place that has opened up in Escondido in the last Month or so. The word of mouth has been good so thought it was worth a shot.

Pho Lee 1700 E Valley Pkwy. Escondido

ext 1

What all great Pho places look like…located in a strip mall next to a Joannes’ Fabrics (you know because big box 40 sq thousand foot fabric stores are still a thing)

Spring rolls

We ordered two plates of spring rolls to start.

Sausage Spring roll

Bo Bia Cuon ~ Spring rolls with egg and Vietnamese sausage. I had never had these and was eager to try them after seeing them in a photo in another review. Very tasty, lost of flavor and full of freshness. A lot of times the with spring rolls the rice paper is too thick or chewy; not in this case a new favorite of mine.

Shrimp Spring roll

Chao Tom ~ Spring rolls with shrimp and sugarcane.

These were second on my list to try. Luckily Chef Ian ordered these so we did a 2 for 2 trade. These were really fresh tasting again but lacked the flavor of the first ones.

Pho #1 close up

#1 Pho Lee Special Combo ~ Rare slices of steak, brisket, flank, tendon & tripe

My order, very good, nice depth of flavor in the broth and tons of meat and vegetable goodness. $7.50 by the way.

Ian 1

#4 Pretty close to mine but ordered with no tendon and extra tripe. According to Ian “Very good”.

The “not so happy look” on Ian’s face is because he realized and admitted that adding Siracha half way through his Pho killed the broth’s flavor. (BTW he gave me shit for needing a fork so turnabout is fair play).

Ian 2

Not sure what this picture is, I think it’s Ian explaining how T-Rex with his tiny arms could never have enjoyed Pho…or something like that.

I was very impressed with Pho Lee and want to go back. After talking to our great server Andrew, I learned the menu has grown but is only current on their Facebook page. They have added a lot of new and interesting dishes so i would go there to get a true feel for what they are offering.

Pho Lee has taken over as the best Pho for me in North County, replacing Pho Oceanside and Mr. Pho, both of which are respectable.

I was invited back to see behind the scenes and go over the menu more extensively,,which I plan to do in June. If you’re in the area or craving Pho and don’t mind the drive go check them out.

Chef thought they missed a marketing opportunity with the name though…

axel pho lee


Pho Lee

1700 E Valley Pkwy.
Escondido, CA


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