Tan Lac Vien opened last month at 2114 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill, a clean, austere restaurant with doting service. Though the menu reads Japanese, Chinese and Thai fare, the winner here is Vietnamese pho.
Beef broth is punctuated by notes of star anise and ginger, the base for rice noodles, meat and herbs. Variations here include flank steak, brisket, tripe and meatballs for $9 to $12.
Broth is oversalted and not as rich as I'd hope, though I do like the seasoning. Accoutrements are among the most substantive of any pho I've had in a restaurant in Pittsburgh so far.
Though sriracha and hoisin are at the table, ask for extra fresh chili peppers or jalapeno to accompany bean sprouts, Thai basil, cilantro and lime. The fun of pho, after all, is in the condiments.
Melissa McCart photo