I'm counting down the top ten dishes from the new restaurants that I reviewed in 2012. Read the complete series to date.
#7: Pho at St. Louis Pho (3863 South Grand Boulevard; 314-664-4041)
On a weekday afternoon at St. Louis Pho, even the Vietnamese pop ballads blasting from the television speakers can't entirely obscure the business of eating pho: the clinking of chopsticks against the rim of the bowl as diners stir bean sprouts, fresh basil leaves and shreds of sawtooth herb into the broth; the squelching of bottles of Sriracha chile sauce and hoisin; and, of course, the slurping and slurping of rice noodles. If you're sitting down to lunch, the noises can lull you into a trance -- you must order pho. The broth is so good you might hesitate before doctoring it with herbs, raw jalapeños and lime, rich without being heavy, its meaty backbone rounded out with warm, sweet notes of cinnamon, ginger and star anise.
-- from "The Sound and the Curry" (August 2, 2012)