Banh Mi Joint, the second restaurant from the owners of Oakland’s Monster Pho, opened in early October with a menu focused on the popular Vietnamese sandwiches. However, weeks into the opening, owner Tee Tran decided to change directions, shifting the concept toward pho and renaming it Monster Pho 2.
Emeryville’s ever-densifying maze of condo buildings was part of the reason Tran decided to open a second concept there, in the bottom of a brand new building still under construction (3900 Adeline Street)— given its relatively close proximity to the original Monster Pho on Broadway, Tran (incorrectly) figured a different option would be even more alluring to neighbors. “We listened to the neighborhood,” said Tran. “And they wanted pho, pho, and more pho.”
After the decision to change gears about a month ago, Tran rearranged the seating, switched out some crucial kitchen gear like the stove and refrigerators, and had a new sign expedited. The sandwiches are still on the menu, but now alongside bowls of beef, chicken, and vegetarian pho, as well as vermicelli bowls, salads, and appetizers. And unlike its other location, Monster Pho 2 has a small bar stocked with wine and a wide variety of Asian beers, like Tsingtao, Sapporo, Chang, and Hite.
Tran says he eventually plans to add patio seating, where dogs will be welcome, and offers everything as a takeout option. Hours are currently Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.