523 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Dining date: 12/6/15, 12/31/15 and 2/20/16
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.
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
Sweet and sour flavors helped to balance out this savory dish, highlighted by the salted cod fried rice.
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
Stir-fried pea tendrils came with a surprising amount of heat.
steamed black cod, fermented flavors, bitter greens, pork belly, shiitake, 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
An onion pancake topped this lamb curry featuring rick, meaty flavors.
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
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
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
A number of sauces are available upon request; my favorite was the green sambal.
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
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.