100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 47: The Pho at Mot Hai Ba

The pho with beef tenderloin is $12 at lunch and is now served in the evening as well.
The pho with beef tenderloin is $12 at lunch and is now served in the evening as well. Nick Rallo
Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2017 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is put your face over a steaming bowl of pho. It’s the spa of the gods. Mot Hai Ba’s version has a rich and complex broth (fatty pork flavor with spices that pop out more and more as you dive deeper), Thai chilies that crackle and burn like NASA rockets, bright herbs that come in piles. It'll make you sing like Lennon: Happiness is a hot broth.

Pho is a gateway drug at Mot Hai Ba. A separate dish, stacked with an entire backyard’s worth of Thai basil and cilantro and neatly diced peppers, shows up with the bigger-than-your-head bowl of pho. It's perfect for winter and spicy enough to cool you down in a blazing Dallas summer. Mot Hai's pho is a birthday present for your soul.

When the mega bowl arrives along with the dish of herbs, you’ll feel like a kid who just blew out your birthday candles. Noodles are tender and warming. Rain on some lime and herbs, or plink a few more bright chilies in there. It's interactive and delicious. Whatever you don’t finish — make sure you tip the bowl to your face to wash in the star anise and salt — the restaurant will compartmentalize in perfect to-go pho containers. Pho-tainers? Phcontainers? Either way, the broth is the star. It's one of Dallas' best bowls.
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Nick Rallo
Contact: Nick Rallo