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East Borough's Grilled Paper Pizza

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Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

As part of Eater Pizza Week 2014, chefs at five LA restaurants that don't serve pizza agreed to make a special limited edition pizza-inspired creation served just this week. Every day we'll highlight a new pizza, today we have the Grilled Paper Pizza from East Borough.

Photo by Elizabeth Daniels

East Borough is known for its more upscale, creative takes on Vietnamese cuisine. Founded by John Cao and Chloe Tran in Costa Mesa, they recently partnered with Paul Hibler and Jason Neroni to open a space in the heart of Culver City. For Pizza Week 2014, Tran has created a distinctive take on grilled pizza using rice paper and Asian ingredients, as well as a familiar childhood cheese. Inspired by a Saigon street snack called banh trang nuong, Tran's version is a $9 pizza that any lover of Vietnamese can get behind.

Tran starts by grilling a slice of rice paper right over the flame, which forms the crust of the pizza. She then pulls apart pieces of Laughing Cow creamy Swiss cheese, which normally comes in wedges at the supermarket. Meanwhile, Tran sautes some nem nuong sausage (the kind found in Brodard's spring rolls) before placing the pieces onto the rice paper. A spicy tomato sauce binds it get together before fried quail eggs go on top. Some Thai bail provides freshness while red onions give a slight crunch. Sitting on the grill for that long, the rice paper turns into a crunchy cracker.
· All East Borough Coverage [~ELA~]
· All Pizza Week 2014 Coverage [~ELA~]