This blog has a great rant about how much “Pan-Asian” restaurants suck. In trying to cover the whole damn continent they get it all wrong and water it down way too much to please the yuppies. In DC the big crap-fest is Raku, but there are some Thai fusion-type restaurants that fit the description as well. But Mr. O-Dub can tell it better than I can (link via The Melting Blog):
Memo to All “Pan-Asian” or “Asian Fusion” or “Asian-Infused” Restaurants:
First of all, just admit it: “Pan-Asian” is your way of charging exorbitant prices and exploiting naive white people who don’t feel comfortable venturing into a restaurant run by actual Asian immigrants.
Second, stop skimping on the flavor and spices. Are you interpreting the Greek prefix “Pan” in “Pan-Asian” to mean “not even remotely”? I’m talking to you, Zao Noodle, king of bland.
Third, if you’re going to co-opt Asian food, stick to the cuisine of one country. You can’t offer watered-down versions of pad thai, adobo, sashimi, and bi bim bop on your menu. You’re destroying the ongoing struggle of Asian Americans to convince everybody else that we’re not all the same.