The Real Reason This Bowl Of Pho Costs A Whopping $79

We love pho. It's warm, comforting, and hearty. But would you be willing to spend nearly $80 on it for one meal? Gao Viet Kitchen in San Mateo, California, serves a bowl of pho it calls the "Phozilla" for that price. It features impressive meats including a full beef rib, filet mignon, and brisket slices, and a giant, 1.5-pound lobster as the centerpiece, according to an Eater article.

Usually, a bowl of pho at Gao Viet Kitchen costs anywhere from $13 for a serving of vegetarian pho to $18 for a bowl of filet mignon pho, according to the restaurant's website. However, a collection of factors spike up the price of this normally affordable dish to a steep $79. The kitchen also offers a smaller version of the Phozilla, simply called the "Lobster Banh Canh," with the 1.5-pound Maine lobster, but minus all the fancy meats, for $49.

What inspired the Phozilla and its price tag?

Gao Viet Kitchen chef and owner Viet Nguyen told Eater that he was inspired to make the Phozilla from other $100 menu items that have been going viral on social media. However, Nguyen could not bring himself to charge that much money for a bowl of pho, which he said cost him closer to $50 to make. Even so, he remarked that "nobody should be paying $79 for a bowl of pho."

The process of making this dish is quite lengthy, starting with a beef bone broth that takes between 24 and 36 hours to simmer and which will later be used as the dish's base. The bone marrow gives it an especially rich flavor.

Afterward, Nguyen adds exquisite meats like filet mignon and oxtail to this noodle soup. He describes these elements as a choice to entice the eater but not something to be taken as a "stunt." And of course, the high-priced lobster, in addition to all the meats, helps hike up the cost.

You can probably share this meal with a friend, given how large it is and the number of ingredients in one bowl. Needless to say, if you have $79 to spend on a nice dinner, this huge bowl of pho is definitely a dish worth saying that you tried.