I love Vietnamese food. I crave it. I crave it to the point where a long separation causes facial tics and a serious change of attitude. My friends know that the only solution is to get me to Green Papaya, a little Vietnamese bistro in the Oak Lawn section of Dallas. We all know (including the waitstaff) what I'll be having, no need for a menu, thank you. #45 Ga Xao Lan. It's beyond fabulous. The official description of the dish is as follows: Chicken Sautéed with Curry, Lemon Grass, Onions, Glass Noodles, Coconut Milk and Peanuts.(no peanuts for me tho, allergic. highly.) The unofficial description is this: Something so delicious that you will NEVER be able to make it at home. Trust us, Lauren.This dish, with its perfectly balanced flavors of sweet and salty, meaty and lightness, is so daunting that in the 10+ years that I've been eating it (started right after I got my first tooth!), I have never tried to duplicate it. I wouldn't even have lemongrass in the house for fear I would attempt the dish only to create an epic failure causing me weep openly while lying on the kitchen floor.
What caused this new-found freedom, you ask? I have no freaking clue. I just decided one day that enough was enough and surely with the help of the interwebs and my local Asian market, I could do this. So I shopped and I surfed and the end result wasn't half bad. It was no Green Papaya #45, but it was enough to stave off the crazies. And really, at this point, keeping the crazies at bay is about all a girl can ask for. Well, that plus free shoes for life but I’m trying to keep it real here.