The original Little Sister in Manhattan Beach has always piqued my interest, but I never got around to dining there because: Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits. You know how it goes. It took a shiny new Downtown outlet, as well as the initiative of a few colleagues, for me to finally make my way here. And let me tell you, it was well worth the wait.
Here at this newish and very bustling spot, Chef Tin Vuong cooks up solid Vietnamese and Asian-inspired fare. Drawing from family recipes and his San Gabriel Valley roots, Chef Vuong’s creations are beautifully composed, boldly flavored, and straight-up tasty.
To start, our party ordered one of every item under the “Introductions” section of the menu. First up was the house-made sesame sourdough baguette with Echire AOC butter and sea salt ($5).
Continue reading ‘Little Sister – Los Angeles (Downtown)’
I was hoping to have this published on Monday, in time for Tết, because Vietnamese folks believe that everything that happens on the first day of the New Year continues for the rest of the year. Well, it’s Friday, which means that my wish for a little New Year’s luck to keep me publishing more frequently didn’t quite pan out. There goes the Year of the Monkey…
And now to the subject at hand: Fuku, Chef David Chang’s fast-casual fried chicken sandwich shop in the original Momofuku Noodle Bar space.
For $8, I received a big ‘ol slab of boneless fried chicken served between a squashed and wrinkly bun slathered with “Fuku butter” and dotted with pickles. The habanero-kissed batter was as crispy and spicy as hoped, while the meat of the matter was moist enough but not especially juicy.
To further dress the sandwich there was “Ssam Sauce,” essentially thinned-out Korean chili paste (gochujang), as well as ketchup. I preferred the latter’s tangy goodness over the former’s sweet heat.
Continue reading ‘Fuku – New York City’
The best meal from my trip to Honolulu last spring was at The Pig & the Lady. The Astronomer and I found Chef Andrew Le and Mama Le’s brand of Vietnamese-inflected island fare awesomely creative and delicious; we couldn’t wait to visit again on our next trip to Oahu.
Although my schedule was jam-packed with work commitments on my most recent return to the islands, I had to make time for another meal at this fabulous establishment.
I rounded up two hearty eaters (Hi, Thien and Kris) and we Uber’d to the restaurant for lunch. The space was packed considering it was a weekday, but we managed to squeeze in at the tail end of the lunch hour.
Thien sipped on Papa Le’s Iced Coffee ($4), while Kris handled the Cobra Commander ($11). The former was plenty strong yet sweet, while the latter was spiked with avocado mezcal and pink-grapefruit liqueur and chilled with Sriracha ice.
Continue reading ‘Lunch at The Pig & the Lady – Honolulu’
Since June goes to bed before the sun sets these days, The Astronomer and I celebrated our anniversary over lunch rather than dinner this year. Not quite in the mood for a fancy kind of fete, we headed to Honey Badger Noodle Shop in Alhambra for a casual, noodle-centric meal. The couple that slurps together, stays together.
I first visited Honey Badger last October with Louise. While the food we tasted was very good, it arrived painfully slowly. Not to mention, nearly half the menu was unavailable for one reason or another.
Fortunately, the restaurant was firing on all cylinders when I lunched here with The Astronomer. Service, pacing, and food were all on point.
Continue reading ‘Honey Badger Noodle Shop – Alhambra’