In Hanoi, where copyright laws are laxer than in San Francisco, success and unauthorized cloning go hand in hand. The moment Lucky Hotel gets a good mention in the Lonely Planet guide, five more Lucky Hotels appear, some on the same block. The first hotel will put up an “Original Lucky Hotel” sign, which will then be copied by the copycats.
Did Cafe Bunn Mi, which opened last week in the Richmond, pull a similar stunt with Bun Mee, Denise Tran's 4-month-old Pacific Heights sandwich shop? Both sell upscale ($5-8), Westerner-friendly banh mi, along with salads and a few more substantial dishes. More importantly, whose phonetically spelled sandwiches are better?