By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Eric Clapton to Vietnamese pop on the playlist ratio: 1:1
Ways I've pronounced pho wrong count: 250
Iheard about Lá Me recently, and after a quick visit to their Web site (which features tons of hot chicks on their patio), I decided to go. When I got there, though, I didn't see one chick on the patio. Sure, it was 20 degrees outside, but I still call that bullshit. If the classy bikini ladies at the Seven Express Beer Store on Greenville can sit outside in their parkas, so can you, Vietnamese restaurant Web site hookers.
Inside, the place was pretty empty. Maybe because it was 2:30 p.m. Or it could be that it was a turn-off for some that from a distance, it looks like the restaurant's name is "Lame." (It's just another case of names translating weirdly. Like when they tried to market the Chevy Nova in Mexico. Or when the Bulgarians tried to market the Grundle Punch 2000 microwave oven here.)
I ordered a vermicelli bowl: the Ha-Noi BBQ pork. When it showed up, I was amazed at how many bowls were on my table. There was a medium-sized bowl full of noodles, a medium-sized bowl full of the pork, and then an additional platter with the lettuce, bean sprouts, cilantro and mint on it. And then one very small empty bowl that they set down right in front of me. I was so taken aback by the amount of bowlage on my table that I stared at my bowlfest for a while, trying to figure out what I was supposed to do. (Does the chef have a serious case of Food-Touching Anxiety? Is someone just fucking with the dishwasher dude? Did I step into Bowltown—the capital of Bowlivia—when I crossed the threshold into this place?) Is the empty bowl for my vermicelli shells? I was confused.
Finally, an employee walked up to my table and said, "Anyway, people usually take some of the stuff from the bigger bowls and put it into the little bowl and then eat it." I thought it was really cool of him to say it that way. Like we'd been having this totally normal conversation in which I was not a complete dumbass. If I had been talking to me I would have said something much meaner and probably incorporated the use of that new C-word I learned recently.
The food was delicious. I really enjoyed the pork (that's what she said).