Good Girl Dinette: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011
Tucked into a storefront below an old Masonic lodge, in the pierced navel of the Highland Park art scene, Good Girl Dinette is so groovy that sometimes it hurts to think about it, a queercentric, family-friendly, vegan-tolerant storefront with a menu of Vietnamese-American comfort food. It's run by Diep Tran, who used to work at Blue Hen and whose family owns the Pho 79 chain of Vietnamese noodle shops. The neighborhood is obsessed with her biscuit-topped, curried chicken potpie, which tastes like something a homesick emigré might have made in Iowa in 1936.
If you have strong opinions on whether pig's feet should be admitted in a bowl of bun bo hue, this may not be the place for you. The chicken pho will not remind you of your favorite pho ga. The fresh spring rolls are stuffed with tofu instead of grilled pork and shrimp. The beef stew splits the difference between Vietnamese flavors and Depression-era diner cooking. And the best dish here may actually be the spicy fries, topped with the mince of cilantro, fresh chiles and garlic you usually find on Vietnamese-Chinese fried crab or squid. Somehow, this is exactly what this neighborhood, and the times, seem to demand. 110 N. Avenue 56, Highland Park. (323) 257-8980, goodgirlfoods.com. Tues.-Thurs., 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5:30-10 p.m.; Sat., noon-10 p.m.; Sun., noon-9 p.m. No alcohol. Street parking. Cash only. Vietnamese-American.
99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:
Church & State
Din Tai Fung
El Huarache Azteca
Euro Pane Bakery
Fab Hot Dogs
Good Girl Dinette
La Casita Mexicana
Lazy Ox Canteen
Meals by Genet
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
Night + Market
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Pollos a la Brasa
Sapp Coffee Shop
Son of a Gun
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Waterloo & City
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