Good news for Mid-City: You no longer have to trek to northeast L.A. to eat Good Girl Dinette’s Vietnamese-American dishes. Owner-chef Diep Tran's much-loved roasted oyster-mushroom banh mi and cilantro-Maggi mayo spicy fries are now available at Bloom Café on Pico Boulevard — every Friday through the end of this month, anyway.
Good Girl Dinette's April-long pop-up is bringing a truncated menu of its greatest hits to neighborhood health-food cafe Bloom, including "Grandma's Pho," black-pepper pork confit, two kinds of banh mi, Japanese turnip curry, imperial rolls and those spicy fries.
The restaurant, which recently celebrated its sixth year on Figueroa in Highland Park, serves Tran’s take on Vietnamese-American comfort food. Many ingredients are sourced from hyper-local farms; the chicken in the pho, for example, is from Kendor Farm in Van Nuys.
But why bring her food to Mid-City?
“For the past six years, I get requests from customers for me to open a Good Girl Dinette nearer to them, and the neighborhood mentioned most is Mid-City,” Tran says. “When Arnaud Palatan of Bloom offered to host the pop-ups, I immediately jumped on the chance.”
Other than Vien Cafe further west on Pico, there are no other Vietnamese restaurants in Mid-City, and you have to drive to Culver City or Koreatown for a bowl of pho. And no other spot offers a roasted oyster mushroom bahn mi, one of the few worthy vegetarian versions of the traditionally meaty dish.
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“I grind ginger, cilantro and coriander into a fine paste, so that it clings to the gills of the oyster mushroom," Tran says. "Roasted, the mushrooms are earthy, spicy, and herby, with bits of crisp edges. Stuff that inside a baguette, and you've got yourself a great banh mi. Unless you happen to be a mycophobe, in which case I am sorry for you.”
Good Girl Dinette pop-up 5-10 p.m. on Friday, April 17 and Friday, April 24 at Bloom Café, 5544 Pico Boulevard, Mid-City; (323) 934-6900; bloomcafe.com