Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Girl Dinette: First Look

I checked out the soft opening of Good Girl Dinette Thursday night, and it seems like a promising addition to Highland Park, which has few non-Hispanic food options. My camera battery failed so photos will have to come another time. The Vietnamese comfort food concept was interesting, mostly Vietnamese but with a few diner twists like coconut bread pudding and chicken curry pot pie. Here's a few notes I left on Chowhound:
Owner/chef Diep Tran founded Blue Hen in Eagle Rock, which I had never tried. Good Girl puts a little twist on straight-up Vietnamese food, giving it a "diner" twist. The space is modern and airy, just down the street from Antigua Bread in the heart of Highland Park. Right now they're serving an abbreviated menu while they get their sea legs. We started with crispy rice cakes with scallion tofu ($4.50), a nice light appetizer with good soy/sesame oil flavor. The diner side was represented by two pot pies ($10) -- we had the cauliflower curry which was indeed comfort food, with a flaky biscuit crust and mild vegetarian filling. They were serving either vegetarian or chicken pho ($9), and we tried the vegetarian, which could use another jolt of flavor. But it's pretty hard to make good pho without beef, so that wasn't too surprising. Dessert was a really nice round of coconut bread pudding with whipped cream, not heavy or overly sweet like so many bread puddings. There will be some meatier offerings on the expanded menu, like beef stew and braised pork. The closest comparison is Viet Noodle Bar in Atwater, but prices are a bit more reasonable the food is somewhat heartier.
Banh mi are $7 but they come with fries or slaw, so that seems reasonable.
Good Girl Dinette
110 N. Ave. 56
Highland Park

7 comments:

Marie said...

I love the concept, so hope to check out soon (will probably wait until things have settled a bit). Quite intrigued by the coconut bread pudding.

paul bailey said...

i'd like to give these guys a shot, but menu items like a $9 pho was reason enough to avoid the blue hen in eagle rock. (the same goes for the menu at blossom downtown and viet noodle in atwater)

i guess i'm not sold on upscale vietnamese food and can think of a lot of more reasonably priced and interesting restaurants in alhambra and SGV that i don't have to pay a "hipster tax"

my little apartment said...

I'm a Pho Cafe addict and I also dig the "authentic" pho in Monterey Park. but I'd always heard not-so-great things about Blue Hen, so I steered clear...however, I'm super psyched to try out Good Girl! hell, I'm just glad to see more businesses opening in HP who've actually put in some thought to their aesthetic.

alnyden said...

I was at the opening last night, and I think the restaurant is fantastic. The service was rough (our food took 30 minutes), but you have to give them a pass when they ended up being mobbed on the first night.

The space is a nice mix of modern loft and diner -- attractive and comforting. Everything we ate was delicious -- tasty Banh Mi, surprisingly spicy chicken curry, and maybe the best spring rolls I've ever had.

Give them a little time to get the system down and possibly add a few more dishes. But in my opinion this is exactly what the neighborhood desperately needs. I plan on being a regular.

Clare said...

I hope they offer banh mis!!! I would love a good banh mi place in Highland Park...

Anonymous said...

It is VERY AWESOME that there is anything opening up here in the Avenues. The place looks like it was put up for a shoot in the historic Masonic Building, it is worth going just to hang around the living history of this neighborhood that is as subtle and yummy as pho.

john Marte said...

Went there today and the food was fantastic the owner Diep was wonderful. You have to try the chicken curry pot pie flakey crust. if you want this order it as soon as you sit down as it takes 30 min to prepare