According to the young waitress, Phuong Anh has been around 6 months. I happen to have eaten at the various incarnations that have haunted this location for many years, starting with the Chinese restaurant with its tiny steam table buffet in 1991. There have been half a dozen or more owners casting their fortune nets at this location since - some better, some not. Most of them were Vietnamese.
You are right, Stewart - the food this time is great! Everything here is made fresh and is tasty as only home style can be. The protions are big - especially the house specialties [the Mon Dac Biet] which are consumed by large parties of beer drinking, chain smoking men. The menu, by the way, is large and extensive. Let's hope they last longer and do better than the previous handful of venturers. They work hard enough and deserve it!
It amazes me that there are so many Vietnamese restaurants in the Houston area - mostly small, family run places - and it seems that their number is way out of proportion to the Vietnamese population in our area. Why is that? Any sociologists - professional or otherwise - with ideas out there? (BoardMasters, don't cut this discussion off - it relates to Houston-specific Vietnamese restaurants). I think that it has to do with the Vietnameses' ability to compete in the labor marketplace. Many of them are not able to compete in areas that require strong language / cultural or specific skills, so they turn to what they can do, often catering to their own community, as in the restaurant business. It's a common enough new immigrant method of survival. I would like to know what others think.