Archive for the 'Highland Park' Category

Gettin’ Figgy (Pudding) with Good Girl Dinette

Figgy Pudding

It’s the season for peppermint-, pumpkin- and gingerbread-centric sweets, but not for Good Girl Dinette‘s Diep Tran, who marches to the beat of a different drummer boy. At her Highland Park restaurant, it’s all about figgy pudding, the oft-overlooked and under-appreciated Dickensian delight.

Get your belly in the holiday spirit with my latest piece for the Los Angeles Times‘ Daily Dish: “Good Girl Dinette’s Diep Tran brings us all some figgy pudding.” Happy holidays and bon appetit!

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Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival 2014

Mid Autumn Moon Festival 2014

Celebrating in high style at Highland Park’s Good Girl Dinette.

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Weekend Breakfast at Good Girl Dinette – Los Angeles (Highland Park)

Weekend Breakfast - Good Girl Dinette - Highland Park

Good Girl Dinette’s Chef Diep Tran loves breakfast, especially ones taken leisurely without consideration for time or caloric intake. She’s been toiling behind the scenes, crafting and tweaking her breakfast menu for the past year now, and she recently rolled out the goods for all to devour and crave.

Weekend Breakfast - Good Girl Dinette - Highland Park

“The menu for me is a snapshot of what it felt like to grow up in the ’80s, in Cerritos, being Vietnamese,” explained Diep in a recent Q&A.  Among her sources of inspiration for the new menu were “Breakfasts of porridge, pho, and fried eggs splashed with Maggi; Lucy Maud Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and MFK Fisher books from the library; weekend cooking shows on PBS.”

Weekend Breakfast - Good Girl Dinette - Highland Park

As Diep was developing the menu and testing recipes, The Astronomer and I served as eager guinea pigs as she perfected her Red Boat-cured bacon, Croque-Garcon, and toasted pound cake.

After months of anticipation, we finally sat down this morning to experience the perfectly edited menu in its entirety. And it was well worth the wait!

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{swoon} Carnitas Eight Ways at Metro Balderas

Metro Balderas - Highland Park

While the Mexico City-style cooking at Metro Balderas is appealing any day of the week, it’s especially enticing on Saturdays and Sundays when carnitas are on parade. Weekends here are dedicated to glorious piggy parts, lovingly fried in lard then slow-cooked and braised in natural juices before being tucked into a corn tortilla and garnished with diced onions and chopped cilantro.

The Astronomer and I warmed up with the maciza (shoulder) and the costilla (ribs), the least adventurous cuts of the eight on offer. The former was more or less a mound of pulled pork, while the latter was lean, mean, and caramelized. Next, we tucked into the cuerito (skin) and trompa (snout), deliciously gelatinous morsels that soaked up the braising liquid like a porcine sponge.

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