110 North Avenue 56
Los Angeles, CA 90042
verdict: tasty, try it!
when restaurants pop up with a lot of promise, i get EXCITED. not the "oh my god did you get me a chanel" kind of excitement, but more like a "i hope you will make my mouth explode" kind of excitement...the only kind i feel when my tongue meets good food. yeah, i know. i am fat. holla!
when whispers of good girl dinette started i was already rubbing my belly for some good girl grubbing. you see, i KINDA know diep tran (chef and owner) because i have met her on several occasions through different gatherings. funny gal with a terrific friend/fan base for her cooking way before hens were blue. in many ways, i was hoping this restaurant would be a big hit too because she deserves the success.
so on friday, i went with 5 friends to check out this new addition to highland park. the space was simple and ORANGE. orange chopsticks, orange counter, and orange shirts. the decor was truly simplistic with exposed bricks and a high ceiling to amplify our voices. paper menus and a chalkboard with cursive writing gave hints of what was to come.
local, seasonal, sustainable....i like that.
i started off with an orange pop which turned out to be orange juice with selzer water. i like to do that at home as well, but i go straight for florida's natural minus the pretty orange slice. it was refreshing though unneccesary with the meal. i think next time, i will bring a bottle or two of wine and enjoy those instead. it appears to be a byob or byow kind of place. no corkage fee...hello i think i love you :)
we then ordered two appetizers to share. as you can tell, my friends scoffed at my food blog wannabeness and insisted that they have their fingers in every shot. tisk tisk h8ers. the fries were delicious. they reminded me of the shrimp with spicy salt you get at chinese restaurants minus the tails and legs. the fries are of the thin kind (the ONLY kind in my book) topped with chopped peppers and cilantro. the dip provided tasted like light soy sauce and paired well with these asian fries. i liked it and boy did it disappear quickly.
the second appetizer was fried tofu on rice. it was good and reminded me of my momma's cooking. actually, it was kinda like diep took my mom's cooking and made it smaller and prettier. it tasted familiar to me and for that it gets another happy nod.
i then ordered the chicken curry pot pie which required 20-30 minutes of cooking time. this is perhaps my least liked item of the night. i did not enjoy the texture of the biscuit top. it reminded me of hard oats for some reason. the curry tasted ok but was a bit too watery for me. there was hardly any chicken in there as well. i could have done less potatos and more chicken. i want my bok, bok, cluck, cluck ya hear!
one of my friends ordered the pork banh mi. i was able to snag a taste and boy was it DELICIOUS. i really wanted to rip that sandwich out of her hands and give her my pot pie instead. i did not do that though but vowed to come back to order this deliciousness.
dessert was rather perfect. i always say i have "asian tastebuds" when it comes to desserts and am not a fan of overly sweet sweets. the two dessert items we ordered were perfect. the coconut bread pudding was dry but tasted just right. it had a nice hint of coconut without being too overwhelming. the almond jello with kumquat sauce was my favorite. when i ate that, i felt like a kid again. the kumquat sauce gave this traditional dessert an exciting twist.
so the night ended with a belly full of good food and laughs. although there are still some kinks to be worked out (like running out of items on the menu), the restaurant has a lot of potential and i wish diep great success. it was a joy to be able to support another foodie's passion.