Little Sister (Los Angeles, CA)

Little Sister
523 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Dining date: 12/6/15, 12/31/15 and 2/20/16

Little Sister

Little Sister first opened in Manhattan Beach in 2013, becoming a popular neighborhood spot for southeast Asian flavors in the South Bay. I’d heard good things, but never made the trip out to visit. However, Little Sister came closer to me by opening this downtown location just a few months ago. It’s right off the popular corner of 7th & Grand, next door to Q Sushi. I’ve visited three times since its opening and this post recaps all of those visits.

Interior

imperial rolls, shrimp, crab, pork, taro root, glass noodle, roasted peanut, chili lime sauce

imperial rolls, shrimp, crab, pork, taro root, glass noodle, roasted peanut, chili lime sauce

Imperial rolls were served piping hot and delightfully crispy with a meaty-earthy filling.Fresh herbs and fish sauce helped to offset the fried richness.

salted cod fried rice, egg omelet, sweet & sour pork and crab chili sauce

salted cod fried rice, egg omelet, sweet & sour pork and crab chili sauce

Sweet and sour flavors helped to balance out this savory dish, highlighted by the salted cod fried rice.

pho ga rice noodles, classic condiment

pho ga rice noodles, classic condiment

The pho ga was simple and exactly what I wanted on a cool winter day; I think it’s one of the better bowls of pho in DTLA.

x.o. pea tendrils, lemon juice, almonds, dried scallop shards

x.o. pea tendrils, lemon juice, almonds, dried scallop shards

Stir-fried pea tendrils came with a surprising amount of heat.

steamed black cod, fermented flavors, bitter greens, pork belly, shiitake, leeks

steamed black cod, fermented flavors, bitter greens, pork belly, shitake, leeks

Hidden under the greens was a tender piece of black cod, which absorbed salty and savory flavors from the sauce it was bathed in.

red braised lamb curry, yams, herbs, pickled veg & onion pancake

red braised lamb curry, yams, herbs, pickled veg & onion pancake

An onion pancake topped this lamb curry featuring rick, meaty flavors.

saigon lemongrass beef, vermicelli noodle, herbs, cucumbers, chili-lime dressing

saigon lemongrass beef, vermicelli noodle, herbs, cucumbers, chili-lime dressing

This noodle dish was a highlight as the cool vermicelli noodles soaked up the sauce from the delicious beef, complemented by bright fresh herbs and the vinaigrette.

pork, shrimp and crab dumplings, spicy black vin dressing, chives, spinach, peanuts

pork, shrimp and crab dumplings, spicy black vin dressing, chives, spinach, peanuts

Giant wontons were filled with pork and shellfish and bathed in a vibrant, spicy, sauce with more herbs and ginger.

grilled pork spring roll “nem nuong”, red leaf lettuce, mint, carrot, cucumber, house sauce

grilled pork spring roll “nem nuong”, red leaf lettuce, mint, carrot, cucumber, house sauce

Pork spring rolls had both savory and fresh flavors with some good texture, though the thin rolls of crispy fried dough quickly became chewy after the first couple of bites.

sour serrano and garlic, hot mustard sauce red & green sambal

Sauces

A number of sauces are available upon request; my favorite was the green sambal.

fried pork spare ribs, tamarind, eggplant

fried pork spare ribs, tamarind, eggplant

Hard to tell these ribs were fried as they were braised in an aromatic gravy; tart tamarind helped to balance the spare ribs.

shaky shaky beef, watercress, baby tomatoes, burnt butter soy with tomato garlic fried rice

shaky shaky beef, watercress, baby tomatoes, burnt butter soy

The restaurant’s version of shaking beef was cooked well, served with bright greens and a citrusy-salty sauce.

I’ve really enjoyed Little Sister and think it’s a great addition to the downtown Los Angeles food scene. I think this may be the best non-Japanese Asian restaurant in the neighborhood – the food is consistently delicious and stays true to the flavors of southeast Asia.


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