"Cuisine is both an art and a science: it is an art when it strives to bring about the realization of the true and the beautiful, called le bon (the good) in the order of culinary ideas. As a science, it respects chemistry, physics and natural history. Its axioms are called aphorisms, its theorems recipes, and its philosophy gastronomy."
Lucien Tendret (1825-1896)
great-nephew of Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
From Korea Global TV
Other than the war, the most often asked question I get is about the food. Everyone now talks about the food. The ubiquitous Pho (pronounce it like fur) is always on people's mind. Spring rolls also come to mind for many. The thing is that like Thai cuisine, it is very complex. For a sample of recipes, go here.
In Thai cuisine, there is a standard profile of flavors involved: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and hot. Most people recognize the hot aspect, but this does not define Thai cuisine. Vietnamese cuisine is a little different. It isn't the same as Thai cuisine, as it has many other influences. For example, there is no equivalent of a Banh Mi sandwich in Thai cuisine. At least, as far as I know.
If you are in the Southern California basin, there is a huge Vietnamese population in Orange County. Little Saigon has many restaurants and cafes.