A good pho broth should provide you many things: a salty, lip-smacking umami, fish sauce a binding savory note but not obtrusive; layers of flavor where the individual spices alternatively harmonize and entreat for attention; the slightest acid tingle from lime; and the alkaline bite of ginger.

A great pho broth is more noticeable for not causing any palate fatigue.

I tend to abandon most bowls of pho once all the solid material has been depleted, but Pho An Sandy's elixir had me dipping my spoon until I hit bottom. Its special bowl ($9.50) has got you covered in the meat department, with every option box ticked, unctuous fatty brisket balancing out the beefy purity of the lean round steak and flank, gelatinous tendon a molten counterpoint to the airy book tripe.

Deploy the well-stocked herb plate to buoy the springy meatballs once you've slurped up all the rice noodles, as the mass added by the crunchy culantro and oily hot jalapeños soaking in the broth are almost like getting a second course out of the same bowl.

Pro tip: Pho An Sandy also has an expansive menuof Vietnamese dishes—flip to the back page for house specialties.

GO: 6236 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-2990, phoansandy.com. 9 am-9 pm daily. $-$$.