Thursday, June 10, 2010

Starry Kitchen's 3 Month Late Grand Opening Party!

My review is a bit late, but just like Starry Kitchen's Grand Opening Party, it's better late than never!

Starry Kitchen's roots stem right out of Nguyen and Thi Tran's kitchen in their apartment in North Hollywood. What started off as a mere hobby quickly turned into an underground phenomenon, which then manifested into the opening of their own legit space in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. Serving up comfort food from Korean to Vietnamese cuisine, the couple was a hit with local foodies and food bloggers. I have followed SK since their NoHo days but never had the time to make it out to their apartment for one of these secret meals. And since I work and live in West L.A., I could never make it out to their downtown location, which only recently opened for dinner. So, you can imagine my excitement when they announced their 3 month late grand opening party! Finally, a chance for me to jump on the bandwagon!

My girlfriends and I arrived there early to find Nguyen still setting up. We made good use of our early arrival by enjoying our bottle of champagne. The place quickly filled up with a very diverse crowd with one thing in common: their love for SK! I quickly spotted Misty of Noms Not Bombs and met Diana from Diana Takes a Bite and Danny of Kung Food Panda while waiting in line for the food. Some of the other food bloggers in attendance were Shauna of The Minty and Linden from Gastronomonom and many more.

BBQ pork banh mi

jap chae, cellophane noodles with veggies

sweet ginger chicken wings

crispy tofu balls

dessert from porto's

I love banh mi! Even though they are so difficult to eat because of my braces, the pain I go through is definitely worth it! The BBQ pork inside the banh mi was sweet and delicious, while the bread wasn't as hard as I expected it to be. I also really enjoyed the jap chae and being Korean I've had my fair share of them. Growing up, I only ate jap chae during special occasions or at parties. It wasn't something my mom made often, unless it was for a party. With that said, each mouthful triggered a different flashback of some celebration, from my late grandmother's 70th birthday to my cousin's wedding. The sweet memories continued to roll as I moved onto the sweet ginger chicken wing. It was dangerously reminiscent of my mom's chicken wings - it was damn good! Now, I didn't know what to expect from SK's famous crispy tofu balls. J always tells me tofu tastes like nothing, when I tell him it tastes like tofu! I love tofu in all its different forms (I still haven't tried stinky tofu). I knew it was going to be good, but I didn't know they were going to be so addicting! These tasty balls (LOL) were full of flavor and the corn inside was a pleasant surprise.

exotic fruit (rambutan, lychee, pineapple, mango+coconut jelly) in coconut milk

A meal isn't complete without dessert. How ecstatic was I to find out they brought desserts from Porto's?! Yummmm. Everyone should be happy these weren't the cheese rolls, or else I would've eaten 15 of them. No lie. So, in true fatty fashion, I ate another dessert after my first dessert. The exotic fruit mix was refreshing yet filling and ever so delicious. I used it as my chaser when we were taking shots of vodka and whiskey!

The party seemed like it was just getting started as soon as I finish my second plate of food. The music continued and the shots were passed around. The party really started when the Kitchen Ninja finally finished up in the kitchen to enjoy the party. Don't worry, she didn't start the night late, we took several shots with her while she was still cooking. :)

Misty, Diana & Me

It was a successful opening party where I got a chance to see old faces and finally put faces to blogs and twitter handles. Kitchen Ninja's good eats filled our happy stomachs while Nguyen's contagious energy had the whole place buzzing. It was definitely the place to be. Their amazing chemistry coupled with their love for food and hospitality fueled this culinary establishment to its current success. Even a blind man could see that. I will continue to support SK by gladly eating their food and spreading the good SK news... I've jumped on the bandwagon and I'm not getting off!

Starry Kitchen (California Plaza) on Urbanspoon

Starry Kitchen in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Starry Kitchen
350 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 617-3474


bagnatic said...

oh wow, those neon green balls are everywhere. sounds like a fun night.

Nomsnotbombs said...

Better late than never! Nice seeing you :) And I love that last picture!

nelehelen said...

amy - lol yea, those tofu balls were definitely everywhere.. from blog posts to facebook to yelp reviews!

misty - always good seeing you!! :)

RenRen said...

I've been following Starry Kitchen for awhile and I still have not been yet. Working in West LA really bites cuz I can't eat there for lunch. The food looks so yummy.

nelehelen said...

RenRen - They just opened for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays, so it'll be a good time to check it out! They just added some new items to the menu too!

Kung Food Panda said...

Fun times! And great finally meeting you Helen! :)

Pandalicious said...

omfg, banh mi!! soooo hungry!!

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