If you are lucky enough to find yourself at Hannah An’s new restaurant, The District, on Third street, you’ll probably be advised by the savvy wait staff to try the ‘Fresh Spring Roll’ for your appetizer, a traditional Vietnamese version of rice paper,chef’s choice protein (shrimp when we were there), rice noodle, carrots, mint, cucumber, garlic-lime vinaigrette. With the light, fragrant spices, they aren’t like any spring roll we’ve ever had. ($12.)
Even if you’ve had Vietnamese food before, Hannah An is cooking at an entirely different level. It’s what you would expect from such impeccable culinary lineage – Hannah’s mother is matriarch Helene An.
For dinner you can’t go wrong with any of Hannah An’s Signature Dishes, such as the ‘Colossal Tiger Prawn’ (grilled jumbo tiger prawns, handmade noodle, garlic-lime), the ‘District Wok Lobster’, either a 1/2 or whole live Maine lobster ( $36 or $52) with her addictive Handmade Noodles, or try the ‘Shaken Beef’ (Bo Luc Lac) which is a scrumptious stew of cubed Filet Mignon, red onion, garlic, tomato, Thai basil, and Chinese broccoli. ($32.)
There’s menu selections for your vegetarian friends as well.Our all-knowing waitress, Kaitlyn, told us the ‘Buddha Delight Clay Pot’ — a traditional Vietnamese stew, of tofu, seitan, carrots, onions, potato, kolarbi, — was one of the favorites. ($15.)
At once opulent, and luxurious yet still comfortable, there’s outside seating for people watching, a rough hewn bar (with a bartender who knows his way around a cocktail menu ) but the prime real estate is upstairs, with a fire place and dedicated bar.
The desserts aren’t anything special but by the end of the meal you’ll be too full anyway. Better to finish with a nightcap at the bar. Maybe a ‘Love You Long Time ‘ (Loft & Bear Vodka infused with cucumber, fresh lime, organic agave, cantaloupe, cucumber) or ‘Face Down In Saigon’ (Don Amado Reposado Mezcal, fresh lime, organic Saigon cinnamon agave, cinnamon stick, cinnamon dust.) $14.
8722 West Third Street,Los Angeles, CA 90048. 310.278.2345