OBAO Noodles: Mid-Level Pho in Midtown


The more places I go for pho, the more I am convinced that I was right when I wrote that NY has terrible pho. A surefire way of not finding a winner a great pho restaurant is to rely on Googling ‘pho near me’. I have yet to find a winner based on this strategy. Enter in OBAO Noodles, a noodles and BBQ restaurant located in Midtown Manhattan.

I went there for lunch and should have known based on the menu that pho is not their specialty. Anytime I see only one variety of pho offered, it is time to lower my expectations. Too lazy to Google again, I thought I would give it a shot. 

Summer Rolls 

As usual, I ordered summer rolls. There was nothing memorable about them except for the fresh mint. For $7, I would skip ordering them. 

The Pho 

I long for the days of writing clever pho reviews (see I Know When That Hot Bowl Blings…A Review of Pho in Brooklyn) as much I as I long for the days of quality, authentic pho. Until I leave NYC, I’m afraid those days are long gone. Instead, all I get is an uninspired bowl for a high price and lackluster quality. The upside of trying just about every pho restaurant in NY is providing other pho lovers with the knowledge they need to make a decision about where to go for pho. The downside is that I have become so jaded that I no longer enjoy the pho experience.

OBAO’s pho was not fantastic but it was a lot better than many of the other places I’ve reviewed. Aesthetically, it was perfect. The beef was uncooked, there were plenty of onions, and the broth was not over saturated with oil. But what about the taste? Like all good bowls, OBAO’s got better with each bite. Like all good bowls, the proof comes with how much or how little i have left.


If you’re in Midtown and you’re looking for decent pho, OBAO’s does the job.



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