Paul Hibler, the man responsible for California-styled Italian pies at Pitfire Pizza, plus Superba Snack Bar, Pie Society, and the imminent Super Food & Bread, has yet another project up his sleeve. Taking a step away from Italy, Hibler has partnered with John Cao and chef Chloe Tran of Costa Mesa's East Borough to bring an expanded and more refined version of the French Vietnamese restaurant to Culver City this fall. Chef Tran says she's "melding the unusual and the familiar to make [her] native cuisine vibrant, yet approachable," under the term "Fraîche Vietnamese."
Think of it as French-Vietnamese cooking with seasonal ingredients. Some proposed dishes are Flame-Grilled Lemongrass Pork and Pork Belly banh mi, a Pho Baguette (as in a sandwich version of pho soup with a sidecar of broth), pork and shrimp spring rolls, and Bánh Xèo (crêpe with shrimp fried in a turmeric-coconut beer batter).
Hibler and Tran co-designed the restaurant with black brick, a tangled wire focal lighting fixture and a semi-open kitchen. [EaterWire]