300 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
Dining date: 1/1/17
Opened in 2004, Stateside has been popular for its modern Vietnamese cuisine on Capitol Hill. My brother’s been here before, and helped us select this spot for its Vietnamese-inspired brunch. It was one of the few restaurants open on New Years Day, making this my first meal of 2017.
523 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Dining date: 4/10/16 and 4/16/16
I’m not the only one that has been frequenting Little Sister, it has been one of the hot restaurants downtown drawing crowds for its modern Asian cuisine. This post recaps two of my most recent meals – a breakfast and a dinner, as I’ve explored more of what the restaurant has to offer.
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.
The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94111
Dining date: 11/28/15
It’s been five years since I’ve been to the Slanted Door, Charles Phan’s flagship Vietnamese restaurant in the Ferry Building. The restaurant is as popular as ever since opening eleven years ago, recently noted as the highest grossing independent restaurant in California last year. Given the announcement of the second Slanted Door location opening up in downtown Los Angeles, I thought it was a good time to revisit. I made a reservation pretty far in advance for a Saturday lunch while the Ferry Building farmers market would be open. Two birds, one stone.
Charles Phan (The Slanted Door)
1142 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Dining date: 8/12/13
Manhattan Beach Post (M.B. Post) has been a hot spot in the area since opening over two years ago (helping to spawn another restaurant, Fishing with Dynamite, earlier this year). Chef David LeFevre hosts a recurring guest chef series called “Can You Dig It?” that benefits partner charity Common Threads. For this iteration, he teamed up with chef Charles Phan of San Francisco’s The Slanted Door.
Charles Phan is one of the old school notable Asian chefs in America; he’s best known for his flagship modern Vietnamese restaurant, The Slanted Door, which opened in the mid-1990s. His mini-empire now spans 7 restaurants in the San Francisco area. I don’t think he can be found in The Slanted Door kitchen as much nowadays, so this was an opportune chance to sample some of his cooking straight from the source. Chef LeFevre’s food has a lot of Asian influences and I was curious to see if he could adapt his cuisine to seamlessly fit in with Phan’s.
The menu for this evening was a collaborative effort, with 5 dishes being prepared by Phan and 3 by LeFevre for $75. Phan brought a couple of notable The Slanted Door plates as well as a few new ones. As far as I know, LeFevre’s dishes were making their first appearance here at M.B. Post.
8400 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Dining date: 3/30/13
Red Medicine is easily one of the city’s most controversial restaurants and it doesn’t really have anything to do with the food. Indeed, I think the outing of LA Times food critic S. Irene Virbila and the public admonishing of no-show diners has brought the restaurant nationwide attention, but it has likely overshadowed the food. More quietly, I’ve heard that the food coming out of Red Medicine’s kitchens are some of the more interesting, beautiful and delicious in the city, finding an ideal balance between Vietnamese influences and more modern American cuisine.
I first sampled Red Medicine at the debut of revolving pop-up Test Kitchen in 2010, just before its opening in November of that year. Soon after the opening I stopped in for lunch, but it took me just over two years after that last visit to stop in for a proper dinner meal. I’ve been many times for dessert, but a full dinner was long overdue.