Husband-and-wife team Tuan Truong and Lien Pham knew they would have to do something a little different to stand out amid the hundreds of Asian restaurants in Broward. So their East West Cafe covers a lot of territory, with stops in Thailand, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Korea and the couple's native Vietnam. What also helps separate the 50-seat restaurant from the pack is that the sauces and vegetables (from Whole Foods) are organic, MSG isn't used, and you can order dishes like pho, a traditional Vietnamese soup, with tofu. About the only major Asian item noticeably missing at East West is sushi, but one of Broward's best Japanese restaurants, Marumi Sushi, is in the same Plantation plaza.
Pham admits she doesn't know much about wine, so "I tell people they can bring their own," she says, with no corkage fee. You will find sake, plum wine and a few Asian beers including China's Tsingtao and Vietnam's 33 (the name, we've read, has something to do with the original bottle size). If you're overwhelmed by the extensive menu, pictures of several dishes are posted at the booths in the center of the restaurant
Ambience: Open nearly seven months, East West looks like a basic storefront, but inside it's cheery and colorful, with brick walls, abstract art and red paper decorations you might find in a Chinese restaurant. Servers are charming and helpful, and keep the meal well-paced, with water glasses always full.