Responses to Amy916's Review

Respond to Review of A Dong
by Amy916

Review: I went to A Dong thinking it would be vegan friendly as this website and friends had mentioned that it had a large vegetarian selection. While it is true this restaurant labels a lot of dishes vegetarian every single one of them contains fish sauce! I asked if I could get a dish made without and the staff did not think that any of the dishes would taste good and highly recommended that I not omit the sauce. I stated that it was not a choice. It took about 20 minutes of the waiter running back and forth from the kitchen to my table to determine if they could accommodate such a request. I did not like the dish I finally ended up with and would NOT recommend this restaurant to anyone who avoids fish sauce.


Posted by A_Dong on Friday, February 22, 2013
Hey guys, just wanted to respond to the review made by Amy916.

It is true that some of our vegetarian dishes have the lemon sauce, which is the sauce in contention. As I'm just a server, they never tell me what is in it. They make it in the morning before I come to work, and it's a closely guarded secret. It's completely understandable to be weary of a sauce that is called nuoc mam (aka fish sauce) in Vietnamese. This is, however, a generic term for several sauces, including ones that don't have any fish in them whatsoever. But if you're not convinced, it's perfectly fine to leave it out.

The reason I felt compelled to respond to Amy's review was due to the fact that it has some incorrect information in it. Of the 33 different vegetarian choices, only 8 (and two of those are appetizers) involve the sauce at all. With these dishes, the sauce is always on the side (never mixed in) and can most definitely be substituted for a sauce that is vegan. I can assure that the dark "plum" sauce is vegan, as I've seen them make it, and I'm positive of all of the ingredients.

We have a large vegetarian and vegan following, who trust us to provide a healthy and meat free menu. As I consider several of them close friends, neither I, my coworkers, nor the owners would want to betray this trust by adding animal products into the main dish. This is why we always leave the lemon sauce on the side. Since we cannot disclose what the ingredients are, we cannot prove to you that it is vegan, therefore we set it on the side for your own discretion.

Amy, I hope you do give A Dong another chance. This time, you may actually find a dish that you enjoy! I apologize on behalf of the owners for your previous dissatisfaction, and I'm sure that we can make it up to you.
Posted by ajfuller on Friday, February 22, 2013
Hey everyone! I actually created an account here specifically to respond to this comment posted. As you can all see by the above response from an actual server at the restaurant, they are extremely helpful and committed to helping you find a vegan/vegetarian option. Most of the staff I've encountered have been quite knowledgable. The person from A Dong covered it the most, but I just wanted to add a couple of things, some of them, that our server helped us out with. First, some dishes can easily be changed, for instance, we go from vegetarian to vegan and back again, and one of my favorites is 27c, the stuffed tofu. It is cooked with butter, but you can have them substitute oil, which changes the flavor very little. Most of the people can tell you if it's vegetarian or vegan, and to reiterate, NOT every single dish has fish sauce in it, though many come with the side of fish sauce. HOWEVER, I wanted to point out that there is a widely available vegan fish sauce at almost every Asian food store, especially vietnamese grocers. If they don't want to reveal the ingredients in their sauces, perhaps they could start carrying the vegan fish sauce if they don't already, but my guess, since the flavor is SO similar, is that they already do. I would highly recommend trying them again. All of their dishes are so fresh and full of great vegetables and almost all of them can be made vegan or vegetarian.
Posted by kindlizard on Friday, February 22, 2013
I see you are just the waiter, but you MUST find out if there is Fish sauce in any given sauce at our request!! That is crucial to safety. If you don't care for safety, don't list it as vegetarian. Don't pretend with our health and safety!!!!
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