Loan "Mama" Le and her son Andrew—a 2014 James Beard Rising Chef of the Year semifinalist—work their magic again with this playful Vietnamese-fusion eatery. Set in the Ward neighborhood of Honolulu, it offers a more intimate setting than their Chinatown classic the Pig & the Lady. Start with the twice-fried chicken wings or the Weekend at Burmese Salad with green papaya, tomatoes, and crunchy bits of fried garlic. Move on to deft twists like roasted-porchetta okonomiyaki (savory pancake) or a pastrami sandwich dipped in aromatic pho. Save room for a slushy or Asian-influenced soft serve. "With fewer seats, it's easier to be in the moment and explore flavors here," Andrew Le explains. "We're just starting brunch with dishes like shave-ice granola, guava-malva pudding, and Spam musu-bao (buns)."
By Amanda Castleman, AFAR Local Expert
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1200 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA