Thai Son is an authentic Vietnamese restaurant just east of Main Street, across the street from Kingsgate Mall serving Pho and other classic Vietnamese dishes.
When I was younger, my mom would've brought me to this place and eat Pho here. The Pho was always delicious, great for it's price.
Recently going there again, after trying out different restaurants...
It has become worse.
Food: I'm not sure whether or not people now-a-days have no taste in Pho or what, but I do not see why it is so 'busy' now. Before I remember the Pho and quality of the food was so good, now it tastes like a Pho joint that never gets any customers. Soup was bland, noodles were like before, not too soft, but beef was... not so tasteful. I don't know what has happened for the quality of the food at Thai Son that gone down, but it's definitely not as good as before.
Service: Waitresses chat a lot, they either ignore you until your hand is up for about 2 minutes or you flag them down/or they keep on bothering you every minute asking 'Have you decided your order yet'. Waitresses were dim-witted and gave wrong order to table, had to walk up to counter to tell that it was not my order. Gave me an attitude afterwards.
Value: Barely acceptable for such poor service and downhill food from before.
Ambiance: Takes a long time waiting in line for the chatty waitresses to notice and clean up a table after the customer has left for over 4 minutes. Two wipes on the table, spray. The ambiance is ok, but it's score is deducted from their long-time to notice a table just to clean it for another customer to sit-down.
I personally would not give it another try, after the most recent horrible experience. Not recommended from myself. Is very busy at times for some reason, would not go during busy times.
Thai Son used to be one of my favorite places to go and have vietnamese food with my friends. But recently the place has really seemed less and less appealing. The service and the environment is pretty nice: the place is always packed full of people so it's quite nice if you like that kind of feel.
The food is only pretty decent. The Pho there is alright... they don't give you a lot of noodles, and the soup is not as amazing as it used to be. The rice dishes are good-- it's comfort food, but afterwards you realize.. the rice was kind of dry and the meal leaves you with a weird aftertaste that hints that there's maybe a little bit too much MSG put in there.
It's not that I won't go here again, because this place is nice and cheap-- but if you're looking for something better, you'll definitely find it elsewhere.
Thai Son is my neighborhood Vietnamese joint, so when I'm feeling hungry and lazy it's a frequent destination. I don't go to Thai Son for Pho unless I have rabid craving - the broth is one-dimensional, lacks depth and hints at an instant stock. The beef is respectable but a great bowl of Pho begins with an aromatic homemade stock. The Lemongrass Chicken or Pork with broken rice and a fried egg fares much better - nothing fancy but good Vietnamese comfort food. The Seafood Crepe is a treat to share with a buddy. Shrimp Salad Rolls with peanut sauce a treat in summer.
Thai Son is my new favorite place to get Pho. I too was a fan of Thang Long on Main before it closed down. Pho Hoa on Kingsway has always been an old standby, but in my humble opinion Thai Son has the edge. Very fresh sprouts and basil (the mark of a good pho place in my opinion), very nice lightly flavored broth, and decent serving sizes. The service is wonderfully efficient and genuinely friendly. This place is always busy but I've never waited for a seat. I should also mention that this place seems very popular with actual Vietnamese patrons, always a good sign. I've had the lemongrass chicken which was also good. I believe the food here is Vietnamese with a Thai angle on it. Plus they play Canucks games and are in the hood (Mount Pleasant). What's not to like?