OCEAN BEACH. OB Noodle House is something of an institution in San Diego. Every time I’ve driven by or eaten there, the restaurant is busy. Why is it such a hit with locals and tourists alike? The Asian fusion restaurant serves up delicious appetizers, noodle dishes, and pho (many of them vegan!) at reasonable prices. So it’s no wonder that the Food Network featured the restaurant on its popular “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” show. (To read more about their appearance on the show, click here.)
After the show aired in 2013, OB Noodle House’s popularity rose to meteoric proportions. Quite simply OB Noodle House could not keep up with demand. The only solution? To open up a second OB Noodle House location! And so Bar 1502 was born. Bar 1502 opened in 2014 with the same menu as OB Noodle House and is also located in Ocean Beach. So now there are two locations to enjoy the same great food!!
One of my favorite vegan options on the menu is the Vegetarian Fresh Spring Rolls. Tofu, lettuce, rice noodle vermicelli, and basil and bean sprouts are wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut plum hoisin sauce. The rolls are light and fresh — I especially love the pop of flavor the basil provides. Dunking the roll in the savory peanut sauce rounds out the experience.
[caption id="attachment_2743" align="alignnone" width="640"] Fresh Spring Rolls with Tofu[/caption]
Another great vegan appetizer is the Tofu Lettuce Cups. Chopped tofu is mixed with green onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and garlic and served with lettuce pieces so you can make your own wraps. I was hesitant the first time I ordered this dish, because tofu dishes are so often bland. I should not have been worried — the herbs and spices ensure that this dish packs a flavorful punch. Soon after it arrived, I was happily munching away!
[caption id="attachment_2774" align="alignnone" width="640"] Tofu Lettuce Wraps[/caption]
This review could not be complete without mentioning the vegan Vegetarian Pho. The rice noodles, onions, cilantro, lightly fried tofu, and fresh vegetables are served in a vegetable broth base. Fresh basil leaves, bean sprouts, jalapenos, and a lime are come on the side. The vegetable broth has a subtle but flavorful composition, and I love that customers are able to personalize the Pho by adding their own herbs and spices! And of course, half the fun is slurping up your noodles!
[caption id="attachment_2744" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vegetarian Pho[/caption]
And of course there are the noodle dishes. The Tofu and Veggie Hong Kong Chow Fun is made up of soft wide rice noodles and topped with tofu, veggies, and a savory, brown sauce. Just remember to order this dish without the egg to make it vegan!
[caption id="attachment_2775" align="alignnone" width="640"] Tofu and Veggie Hong Kong Chow Fun[/caption]
If you feel like noodles but are looking for something lighter, the Tofu and Veggie Dry Chow Fun is a great option. The soft wide rice noodles are served with bean sprouts, green onions, and chinese broccoli. Again, remember to order this dish without egg to make it vegan!
[caption id="attachment_2745" align="alignnone" width="640"] Tofu and Veggies Dry Chow Fun[/caption]
The interior of both OB Noodle House locations are casual and cozy. (The picture below is from Bar 1502.) It’s a great place to relax and catch up with friends.
[caption id="attachment_2777" align="alignnone" width="640"] Interior Bar 1502[/caption]
If you want to eat outside, OB Noodle House and Bar 1502 have you covered. Both restaurants have extensive outdoor seating. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your meal at either OB Noodle house location!
[caption id="attachment_2778" align="alignnone" width="640"] Outdoor Patio Bar 1502[/caption]
OB Noodle House:
2218 Cable Street
San Diego, CA 92107
4993 Niagara Avenue
San Diego, CA 92107