Chef Minh Phan is right where she wants to be, on the cusp of opening up her first standalone location for Porridge + Puffs, a popular pop-up previously run out of a space in Hollywood. Phan is also happy to make her home Historic Filipinotown, a continuously growing neighborhood that in recent years has added everything from coffee to pastries and breakfast burritos to fried chicken and beer.
But mostly, Phan is just happy to be back in the kitchen — this time the one that used to belong to Thai East Wind restaurant, on the corner of Beverly and Occidental. Eater caught up with the busy chef as she prepared a few batches of porridge for whoever from the community happened to stop by, plus roasted stone fruit and a few other light snacks. The restaurant space itself has been completely peeled back, with a minimalist aesthetic only punctuated by some funky lighting, a long black banquette, and light blonde wood touches.
As Phan told the LA Times yesterday, she’s been seeking the right space (and the right amount of money) for a while never, ever since closing her last place following a rather busy run that even saw the late Jonathan Gold rave about her food. That led her to the Historic Filipinotown community, which has become ground zero for new development and restaurants in the past year or so, with more on the way.
Phan believes in serving the community she’s already in, not just the fans that know her work from elsewhere, so she’s been positioning her menu of porridges to be offered at or near $12 a plate, with room to add on side dishes at will. The full expanded menu will also offer a kind of all-in approach, where diners can, for $20, pick porridge, a couple of proteins, puffs and sides all to snack on. Eventually Phan will lean into brunch as well, with a savory breakfast board offered for $20 that will include proteins like braised short rib, eggs, porridge, and more. She’s going to call it the Gold, named after LA Times critic Jonathan Gold, who .
Porridge + Puffs officially opens on August 30, keeping daytime hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to start, Tuesday through Friday. Extended brunch, breakfast, and dinner hours will follow shortly thereafter.
Porridge + Puffs. 2801 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.