OK, fess up: Which of you folks at our Vietnamese Chowdown lunch at Van's was really Eve Zibart in disguise? I think you'll all find that her review in this a.m.'s Post (see link) sounds remarkably familiar. Here's how she starts:
"The boom in ethnic restaurants in the suburbs has been a boon to Washingtonians, many of whom have only recently begun to dabble in these new cuisines. But the owners and chefs of these establishments often face a hard choice: whether to prepare dishes in traditional fashion, or to Americanize the food for a general audience and perhaps ease them into more authentic fare. Van's Vietnamese Restaurant in Herndon is obviously still struggling with the question, and in recent months, it seems, coming down more often on the Westernized side. This is not in any way a criticism -- owners Dung Hoang and his wife, the eponymous Van Hoang, can surely gauge their clientele better than anyone else -- but it does mean that some diners accustomed to more traditional or tangier versions may have to work hard to impress the staff with their preferences. And it would be worth it."