Best Pho

Fans of the ubiquitous Vietnamese noodle soup usually break into two camps: those who think the broth is the most important part and those who think the meat is. Thankfully, the International District's Green Leaf offers a reminder that slurping pho doesn't have to be an exercise in sacrifice. For less than $7, diners receive a heap of rice noodles bathed in a shimmering, clear broth so clean and rich with flavor that it recalls oyster liquor, while free of the oversalted, headache-inducing aftertaste common to more pedestrian versions. The meat, especially the rare beef, is reliably tender and tasty, and there's just enough of it to balance the noodles. And thanks to generous servings of basil and bean sprouts, Green Leaf shows it's mastered the oft-forgotten third criteria of good pho: proportion.—Huan Hsu 418 Eighth Ave. S., 340-1388.

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