4993 Niagara Avenue, Ocean Beach
I'm always on the lookout for dog friendly dining spots, but nowhere more than in OB. Its dog beach may be my Wheaten terrier's favorite place on this planet, and whenever a warm enough winter day pops up we head over.
For years I've wanted to take Loki with me to OB Noodle House, but they won't allow it. I've found this a shame, because nothing would wrap up a morning of sea foam and Frisbee than a crafty taplist and hot bowl of pho.
Fortunately, OB Noodle House opened a new location this summer, and while it took me a while to catch on, they notified me that yes, their new outdoor patio does happen to be dog friendly. What I didn't realize at the time is that this Bacon and Niagara Noodle House location actually has a different name: Bar 1502.
I'm told the name touches on a simple code that should be pleasing to simple-minded numerologists — a reference to the 15th letter of the alphabet, followed by the 2nd. The much-larger space offers a menu nearly identical to the Cable Street original. But unlike the original location, there are plenty of tables free, with no wait, at least for lunch on a weekday.
Its patio features a row of tables lined up along the sidewalk, with permanently built-in concrete benches accessible from inside or outside the patio. This made it easy for us to get in, though also easy for Loki to think any other dog walking past was violating her turf. It didn't take long for her to start barking, so we quickly moved to the patio's larger, back-corner table, more removed from the street.
Problem solved, our server brought a water dish for the dog and a draft menu for me. I already knew I was ordering the $6.45 pho with brisket — the real question was what would I choose to wash it down? Typically I'd drink local, but a sign over my table designates the spot a "Biergarten," so I went German and grabbed a Bitburger pils for 4 bucks. Since it was all so cheap I went ahead and added a couple of tofu spring rolls ($4.50).
The quality of Noodle House pho has been well documented, and my pho with brisket tasted just as I knew it would. Maybe someday I'll try some of the more authentic tripe or tendon offerings, but that might take a stronger beer or two beforehand. The spring rolls and peanut sauce were probably unnecessary, but I felt good about eating them.
On this day, I let my pup stand sentry over the long patio while I ate, concluding that this wide open outdoor space has a much beachier feel than the first Noodle House; much more "O.B." I actually can’t imagine any scenario where I'd choose to visit the original location over this one. I know if Loki has any say, we'll return here often.