lang van (plaza midwood)
rating: * * *
3019 shamrock drive
charlotte, nc 28215
chalk it up to being demi-asian. i adore food from this part of the world. japanese, chinese, thai, vietnamese, korean, malaysian, manchurian, etc. there are marked, yet subtle, differences in each country’s cuisine, and i’ve had a helluva time exploring each and every one of them.
the evolution of vietnamese cuisine also retains tinges of imperialistic france . . . and we all know those cheeky, wine-drinking garcons can create some gastronomical masterpieces. the melding of vietnamese and french cuisine is probably one of the only positives one can legitimately assert when it comes to that sad period of history when white people decided anything they could stick a flag in belonged to them . . . har-dee-har.
lang van is no exception to the deliciousness. indeed, it stands out amongst the pack in the charlotte area, and this only makes me even more determined to bring purveyors of east asian culinary wares to our region. the food at lang van is awesome; but, god help me for saying this, the entire place desperately needs one of those HGTV makeovers. the surroundings almost make you forget that your food is awesome, and that, my friends, sucks rocks. seriously, it’s past the point of being quirky. it’s just fugly. period.
we ordered everything from simple fresh rolls to complex dishes of vermicelli spiced with pineapple and a light dash of curry. the fried tofu was crispy and served alongside sweetly sautéed onions in garlic and soy sauce.
the chicken and beef dishes were seasoned with the optimal blend of spicy, savory, and sweet. the ability to showcase these flavors in one dish is exactly why asian food stirs my senses like no other. garlic, soy, ginger, curry, honey, basil, coconut, pineapple, chili peppers, jasmine rice . . . yeah, i won’t go on. it will just make me hungry.
i killed a bug on my bench. no lie . . . (it wasn’t a cockroach, so stop screaming!!).
. . . and i just kept right on eating. it was that good.
please, for the love of all that is holy, renovate lang van. i’ll still keep eating there, but it saddens me to know that the yuppies in my trendy in-town neighborhood would most likely drive right by the sketchy-as-hell restaurant known as lang van . . . and they would miss out on an amazing treat.
your food is too damn good for your restaurant.