I think Americans are most fascinated by foreign food when it is foreign food that was created by Americans. When I came to the USA, your average American thought Chow Mein was the most popular dish served in China. Fans of this blog know better, but did you know that Wikipedia's article on Chow Mein lists it as a regional dish popular (in this order) in American, Canadian, South Asian, Caribbean and Nepalese cuisine. Please note that China is not on that list.
Sriracha sauce is another good example. Yes, there is a Sriracha, Thailand. No, they don't make hot sauce in plastic bottles with a rooster on the front and a green cap on top. The Huy Fong Foods factory that makes Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce is just outside of Los Angeles. California, not Thailand or India.
When True Thai opened, only our Indian customers asked for Sriracha sauce, but we have lots of South Asian customers so we kept it on hand. I think of it as Tabasco sauce for Asians, but now even Tabasco is working on a Sriracha sauce! Over the years, we have noticed more and more American customers asking for it. Now there is a video of 27 ways to cook with Sriracha.
The truth is, Americans are crazy for Sriracha sauce. College students put it on potato chips which, in my opinion, would make the chips taste better but really you're better off not going there. Order some Palace Style Wontons instead: "fried wontons hand tossed in a sassy, sweet and tangy sauce, then drizzled with fiery Sriracha sauce." That's item number A5 on True Thai's appetizer menu.
So feel free to ask your server for Sriracha sauce, we'll be glad to bring you out a bottle — you betcha!
P.S. I do not think I could walk in these Sriracha Stilettos from HOT Couture, but I would still love to have a pair.