The phrase “melting pot” is thrown around haphazardly and to this date, has become this catch-all term to describe everything and anything that is remotely American. With the upcoming election, the varying differences of our cultures, people and generations have surfaced up in a firestorm of anger and controversy. As an Asian-American that grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area I’ve learned that diversity doesn’t always equate to equality, essentially with so many ethnic groups being in the same geographic region, that fact alone does not guarantee one big happy family.

The difficulties of our world/country is not something we tackle here at Foodamentals. But, if I could point to one aspect of our country in which our diversity and cultures do get along, it damn well be our food.  Our national palette has evolved to the point where “American food” doesn’t evoke images of hamburgers and pizza. What I call hyphenated cuisines(Chinese-American, Vietnamese-American, Japanese-America, Tex-Mex) are much equipped to represent the diversity of our country and nary a day goes by in which new and exciting “American food” are not represented on Instagram.  Hence, when I visited Mo-Pho Mid City, a Vietnamese + New Orleanian restaurant, I came to realize that maybe, just maybe, all of us can make this work.

Mo-Pho Mid City is a New Orleans based Vietnamese + New Orleanian restaurant that has wonderfully encapsulated all the flavors of the city. Gulf seafood such as shrimp and oysters dot the menu as well as classic New Orleans ingredients such as andouille(sausage) are paired with lemongrass and pork hock.  And holy shit, they have alcoholic boba!

Just take a gander at the following pictures. BEEJEEZUS!


Glazed pork belly bowl is a wonderful mix of pork shoulder and cracklins all over a bed of white rice. The semi sweet pork shoulder is definitively Asian whereas the cracklins are truly Southern. Needless to say, this pairing is a winner.


I’ve never had crispy chicken wings with ginger, lemongrass and thai chili. The lemongrass and ginger are common ingredients in Asian cuisine, but the breaded fried chicken is distinctly Southern. Definitely a winner.


Beautiful white meat in the middle with crispy outer skin that is doubly fried.


Shrimp from the gulf are some of the best shrimp in all of the US. The gulf and griddled pork are paired nicely in a spring roll, a New Orleans slant on a traditional Vietnamese spring roll.

Now, for a bunch of Instagram pictures. Be still my heart, be still.

A photo posted by @eater_nola on


Vindaloo Hot Chicken Banh Mi!!! Every Monday at MOPHO!!! #Monday #special #hotchicken #banhmi

A photo posted by MOPHONOLA (@mophonola) on


MOPHO Chicken and Waffles #delicious #foodporn #NOLA

A photo posted by Casey Aaron Bollmann (@_caseyaaron) on



We’ll leave you with this, some food for thought. To us, the above represents what American food should be. A mix of cultures, flavors and tastes that is unique in its own right. We aren’t just a nation of burgers and pizza(not that there is anything wrong with that), but just like us, we are so much more than what people expect us to be. What better way to show that than our food. This, is American food.

514 City Park Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119 (map)
(504) 482-6845