In only a few short weeks, Nguyen and Thi Tran will open Starry Kitchen inside the Grand Star Jazz Club. The couple ended their almost 10-month run at Tiara Café on Ninth Street last week. Its website now has a photo of the Bruce Lee statue right outside the lounge hyperlinked as the location.
According to Nguyen, the latest rendition of Starry Kitchen will serve dinner, featuring a menu of new and familiar dishes. Those who dined at Starry Kitchen during their residency at Tiara Café will recognize the Singaporean chili crab and house-cured roasted pork belly XO fried rice. The couple is looking to reintroduce some of the drinks the jazz club used to serve, such as a tiki white tea cocktail.
Nguyen says he's gotten quite a few inquiries on whether they're bringing back the lunch menu they had during their Cal Plaza days. It's something they've taken into consideration, but for now they'll be focusing on dinner once they get settled inside the Grand Star Jazz Club. The couple has had to refurbish the entire kitchen at the new location; that's been a hands-on process that had Nguyen overseeing the three-hour move of a new refrigerator and freezer to the second floor.
Opened in 1946, Grand Star Jazz Club has parlayed a two-floor space into a venue for hip-hop, new wave, and post punk in recent years. Complex named the club one of its top 50 venues in America this year. This follows a prior ranking of No. 78 in “The 100 Coolest Places of the Complex Decade.”
Given Nguyen's penchant for costumes, this kind of coolness ranking is likely to continue. Somehow.
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