It took the story of one couple to inspire me to finally begin a food blog. I had been wanting to start one for several years, but I have a procrastination problem. After hearing the story of how Starry Kitchen was born, I felt inspired to stop stalling and start blogging.
Starry Kitchen is the brainchild of Nguyen and Thi Tran. Thi is the "Kitchen Ninja," the culinary goddess responsible for the savory delights that are variations on Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian - well, let's just say Pan-Asian - cuisines. The twist is that you can have the meat or veggie option served in a taco, a burrito or a sandwich (like banh mi). Thi used to work in advertising, but she found herself unemployed earlier this year. Friends who had tasted her food encouraged her to give cooking a try. With nothing to lose, she jumped in head first into the world of food and foodies with her husband Nguyen. Nguyen is in charge of the "front of house," with an easygoing and welcoming personality. My brother found Starry Kitchen on Yelp! (check out their 5-star reviews), and luckily, my husband and I have been able to eat there twice (considering we live 2 hours away, I think this is an accomplishment!).
To test the waters in this new venture, Nguyen and Thi opened their North Hollywood apartment two days a week to foodies craving something new. Yes, I know. Eating at someone's apartment? Someone you don't even know? It sounded odd to us, too. But my brother said it was like eating at a friend's home - friendly, comforting and fun. So we went, and we had wonderful Vietnamese ground garlic pork tacos (the only thing left for us latecomers on our first visit). Warm corn tortillas filled with garlicky ground pork, paired with crisp shredded cabbage, cilantro, pickled carrot and daikon. The cool vegetables contrasted with the warm pork, and, for extra crunch, Thi included a fried egg roll wrapper "cigar." A delicious sauce made with ground chicken, fish sauce and a host of other ingredients finished off the tacos perfectly. Their adorable dog, GQ, waited patiently (and futilely) for tiny bits of food to drop. I didn't want to waste one bit of my tacos! Sorry, GQ.
That was our first visit. Here are some photos from that first visit.
Here are some photos of the Kitchen Ninja, Thi, in action.
Become a Starry Kitchen fan on Facebook or follow their blog. December 11 is the day of the first Starry Kitchen Supper Club featuring Chinese hot pot with dungeness crab, scallops, live shrimp,Wagyu beef and more! Only twenty diners allowed, and seats are filling up!
If what I've described hasn't moved you in any way, I don't think you're alive. Go try Starry Kitchen! Your stomach will thank you.
BTW, if you are wondering how they chose the name, "Starry Kitchen," it's the name of Thi's favorite cooking show from Chinese TV.