A decade ago, Vietnamese cafés were springing up everywhere in Manhattan's Chinatown, offering over-rice meals cheaper than anyone else's. The delicate charcoal-grilled pork chops, lemongrass chicken, and steaming bowls of pho became an obsession with many diners, and the bright-tasting palate of flavors—which included fresh mint, cilantro, Asian basil, and the vinegary fish sauce called nuoc cham—influenced chefs all over the city. Pricewise, these cafés were eventually undersold by newer Malaysian and Fuzhou places, and most descended into mediocrity or... More >>>