A new restaurant has opened in Castro Valley. If you are in the mood for Vietnamese food and culture stop by Pho Play, located by 24 Hour Fitness in the 580 Marketplace.
When you walk in, you are greeted by indulgent aromas that make your mouth water. Unlike many other Vietnamese restaurants, this restaurant also has a menu that lets you customize your meal. Minutes after you order and sit down the food arrives, steaming hot. We ordered the beef brisket pho, a combo pho with various cuts of meat, a salad topped with grilled beef and chicken, and a grilled beef short rib platter. For appetizers we tried the egg rolls and and for drinks we tried a passion fruit tea and a matcha green iced tea. The restaurant was decently busy for 8:30 p.m. and the decor was very modern.
As soon we sat down and grabbed our utensils and napkins, the food and drinks came to the table. The egg rolls were nice and crunchy and both teas were very flavorful. The bowls of pho came with their own vegetable garnishes and the short ribs came with a dome shaped portion of rice and vegetables on the side. The pho noodles had the right thickness and consistency, the broth tasted like beef and the meat was delicious. Despite being soaked in broth, the meat was not soggy. The grilled short ribs were very tasty, and the accompanying rice and vegetables made a very good meal. The salad was a heaping bowl of mixed lettuce and vegetables, topped with deliciously tender and flavorful grilled beef and chicken.
Pricing was reasonable, with appetizers in the $5 to $6 range and main courses between $10 to $12. It is a good amount of food and a good value for the price.
If you are looking for a tasty, healthy, and reasonably priced meal that is served fairly quickly, Pho Play is the place for you. Not only will you be greeted warmly by the staff, you’ll enjoy a freshly prepared meal that is bursting with flavor and a meal that won’t put a big dent in your wallet.