I like referring to “Phuong Trang” as “that ‘sea food’ place next to Big Joy” since I’ve always wanted to go simply because it says “SEA FOOD” spelled as two words out front. These kind of things amuse me. Please bear with me.
I stopped in one day by myself just to try the chicken wings for a little snack. I was waiting for Jake to come home and did a mini preview to see if it might entice me enough to bring me back – and it did! Not long after that Jake and T came with me for lunch one day to check it all out.
[bbq pork meatball rolls with lettuce, thai basil, bean sprouts and vermicelli noodles – $4.50]
This was one thing that Jake wanted to get. I ordered the rest! It’s a spring roll filled with bbq pork.
Here’s a cut view of the spring roll – it has the fresh wrapper and a long grilled piece of pork, with noodles and fresh Thai basil.
The spring rolls were served with this little cup of peanut sauce with chopped up peanuts.
The spring roll was very good – very crisp and refreshing and the meat was nicely seasoned and prepared. I’m quite sure what makes this a “meatball” – but I suspect it was some kind of meat that they prepared there in the shop. In any case, it was pretty delicious, especially dipped in a bit of the thick peanut sauce.
[stir-fried noodles with cha-siu pork, baby bok choy, broccoli, carrots, celery and onions in a garlic sauce – $7.75]
I picked one of the noodle dishes to try with my new favorite wide rice noodles. With this dish you can also get soft egg noodles, udon noodles or crispy egg noodles but the wide rice noodles were what I was craving.
Slightly better photo of the star item in this dish – the noodles! I chose to get the cha-siu pork which I’ve always loved. The pork here is tender and juicy – just right. The sauce on this is nice and flavorful not too overpowering (and not super garlicky). The baby bok choy were also delicious – nice and crisp but not too soft.
[beef cub steak with fried rice – marinated beef steak served sizzling with onions on a hot plate – $12.50]
I started called this sizzling steak as soon as it arrived – no joke about the sizzling part! We could hear it before it even got to our table and it was still steaming and sizzling away.
Jake asked and found out that these are cubes of filet mignon. They were very tender and soft little cubes of beef cooked to a medium state. I found the marinade/sauce on the beef to be a little too strong for my tastes and a bit overpowering, but Jake and T loved the dish. I did still snag and eat a few pieces it just wasn’t my favorite overall.
Fried rice. Well, what can you say about rice?
I didn’t think this one was really fried a whole lot, more like a really quick sautee. It had a mixture of diced carrots, green onions, peas and scrambled eggs in the mix.
I picked out the evil peas as much as I could but I still didn’t really care a whole lot for this version. Seemed too plain and unseasoned for my tastes.
[garlic wings with butter / $10.50 for a dozen – $5.50 for half dozen]
Ahh, here’s what drew me in on that first visit! I had been reading about what was good about this place on Yelp and many people mentioned the garlic wings here. They sounded a bit like the salted pepper wings that I love to get at Mandarin Chinese.
Here’s a close up of the wings! They seem to only serve the wings and not the little drumsticks and it comes with a mixture of garlic and green onions with jalapenos on top. They seem to get the spice from the jalapenos rather than the red pepper flakes here. They also have this kind of golden sheen on them from the butter that’s put on. I’m not sure if it’s tossed in butter or what, I just know that butter is heavily involved here.
The wings have kind of sweet flavor to them, much sweeter that almost leaves a sweetish after taste in your mouth. I don’t eat the jalapenos so these don’t really taste very spicy at all to me. They’ve got a super crunch and I love the bits of garlic that comes topped on these wings. Mandarin still holds my heart with their wings but I think these are nice change-up from what I’m used to.
Overall a very good meal – I’ll definitely have to stop back in again and try some other items on their massive menu! They seem to have a little bit of everything here and I think it’ll be fun trying out some new dishes!
4170 Convoy Street
San Diego, CA 92111