The 8Asians Talk About PF Changs and the People of Orange County

Our internal e-mail lists have us discussing all kinds of stuff: Asian American identity, representation in the media, the experiences of activism in an academia setting and its progression as we transition to the working, adult world. And sometimes, we talk about PF Changs, a faux-Chinese restaurant chain where a white girl named Madison comes to your table and prepares a “special oriental sauce” by mixing chili oil with soy sauce with hot mustard. MMM, AUTHENTIC!

Moye: PF Changs is voted the 2010 Best Asian restaurant in the OC Register’s Best of Orange County 2010. They also won second place with their Pei Wei Asian Dinner chain. *sigh*

Ben: I don’t know if this speaks as much about Orange County as much as the person(s) that are critiquing Chinese food.

Moye: It was voted on by readers in Orange County, not real food people.

Ben: Then I feel sorry for OC people. Are they ditzy mostly like the show too?

Koji: I always feel sorry for OC people… Ditzy isn’t the right word — bubble is a better word.

Ernie: At least there are no PF Chang commercials where the terracotta warrior is coming to life to talk about their $4.99 lettuce cup specials during happy hour.

Dino-Ray: OMG everyone is going to think I am so ghetto — but sometimes I crave PF’s…just like I crave Chili’s…or Olive Garden…or Red Lobster — I mean c’mon — every once in a while, you just need that commercial chain food goodness.

Joz: Wait. Are you guys saying that PF Chang’s isn’t authentic? The next thing you’ll tell me is that Taco Bell isn’t authentic Mexican food. I refuse to believe this blasphemy.

Ben: I thought if you said “yo quiero taco bell”, it had to be authentic.

Tim: I think I’ve mentioned it before, my daughter’s favorite Chinese restaurant is Panda Express (sigh).

Moye: OMG I LOVE PANDA EXPRESS. That’s because you are a DAMN GOOD FATHER, Tim.

Our food snobbery aside, what do you guys think? Authenticity not withstanding, is PF Changs actually, you know, good?

(Flickr photo credit: Janice Waltzer)

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About Ernie

I'm the creator of 8 Asians and one of the editors. While I'm a regular blogger to the site as well, think of my role as Barbara Walters on "The View," except without the weird white hair. During the day, I'm a Developer for a major Internet company and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've also been writing in my blog,, for seven years.
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