Guide books, which are usually written by people paid off by the worst establishments, point out alternatives: Indian and Chinese or Thai food. However, close encounters with these cuisines reveal that they are generally about 10 years behind similar cooking in American cities. Londoners are fond of the word "standard," as in "standard Indian restaurant," which means, as far as I can make out, "traditional," tailored, that is, to English taste. It's as if Americans would prefer "Cantonese," when everything from Hunan to Mongolian was available. These guide books also point out various Italianate nouvelle hipgeoisie establishments where the overcooked spaghetti is sometimes accompanied by a green mess mixed with nuts and drowned in sauces of suspect provenance. And the price is, consequently, triple the sum for pub lipids.
In all fairness, heartburn could be avoided if one knew people. I used to have a vacation rule: don't go anywhere you don't know people. If you break it, like I did, you'll end up clogging your arteries in tourist traps, driven mad by encounters with waiters worse than French ones, and raving like a rankled crank. Oh, and your traveling companion will kill you or vice-versa, and you might end up on a pub menu. I now have a new sub-rule to my old rule: don't go to London. It was just voted, quite rightly, the rudest city in the world. I'm now voting it the grossest grub spot on the planet.
There are many lovely things about the Brits. I'll tell you about them after my monthlong fast.