Restaurant: Không Tên LA [1, 2]
Location: 11520 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064. (424) 832-7000
Date: April 9 & 20 and July 13, 2019
Cuisine: Vietnamese Fusion
Rating: Really tasty, great place
Recently, at my Nightshade dinner I met a friend of Erick’s (now my friend too), Kim Vu, who is the chef/owner at pretty new Không Tên Vietnamese Fusion over on Pico — so of course I had to try it.
Coincidently too, my old kitchen lead from RnR, who I’m also still friendly with, sometimes moonlights here.
The location is on a busy stretch of Pico just west of the 405, close to Sawtelle.
The Brunch menu.
And the dinner menu.
The inside is very cute — and owner Kim is sitting at the end of the bar there. There is a big emphasis on the bar space and her signature cocktails.
Of which this is one.
Spicy and sour cashews. Savory little bar snack.
Organic Chicken Wings. Soy and Sweet Chile. These are as good a set of chicken wings as I have ever had. Really tasty sweet and spicy sauce.
Good enough to enjoy a different vantage.
K10 Organic Chicken Fingers. Organic Chicken, 5 Spice Palm Syrup, House Hot Sauce. The other fried chicken type is a breaded cutlet. Very moist and delicious with the sweet and hot sauces. This, along with the dish below are combined at brunch into a “chicken and waffle.”
Sweet Potato Spider. A giant sweet potato latke. Very addictive and crispy.
Vegan Bánh mì. Turmeric Dill Tofu, Shiitake, Pickled Carrots & Daikon, Cucumber, Coleman Farm Cilantro & Dill & Wild Herbs, Fresno Chile, House Pickles. Really great sandwich. Tons of bright pickle flavor and varied textures. Other than a low fat vibe, you’d hardly know it was vegan.
From my cellar: NV Drappier Champagne Rosé Brut Nature Dosage Zero. BH 90. The color is paler than that of the regular brut rosé. A pretty and slightly more elegant nose features a similar aromatic profile but with more evident yeast character. There is fine intensity to the delicious and vibrant flavors that are supported by a firm and definitely finer mousse, all wrapped in a bone dry and youthfully austere finish where a hint of bitter cherry pit appears. This won’t be for everyone as the dryness is pronounced; I happen to like it but it would be fair to say that this is not a charmer. With that said, a few years of bottle age should serve to round off the austerity and add a bit of depth as well.
Assorted Farmers Market Pickles. Sweet, Spicy, and Sour. Each different vegetable had it’s own brine!
House Made Four-Day Beef Jerky. Peanuts and Herbs. A touch dry, but it is beef jerky!
Toothpick Beef. Sesame Chile Oil. Like a less spicy version of the Szechuan toothpick lamb. Really, really tasty. Tender and full of flavor.
From my cellar: 2016 Domaine Roulot Bourgogne Blanc. BH 88. A discreet application of wood easily allows the aromas of petrol straw and pear to be appreciated. There is more richness and volume to the nicely textured flavors that possess reasonably good depth and persistence if not quite the same punch.
Chef’s Daily Crudo — which I think was albacore with a touch of spice.
Coleman Farm Blistered Sunchokes. Carrot Garlic Chile Romesco. Nice, for a veggie!
Tutti Frutti Farm Zucchini Sticks. Carrot Garlic Chile Romesco, Lime. In some ways like giant thick cut fries.
Thao Farm Bok Choy Salad. Terry Farm Asian Pear, Weiser Farm Rainbow Carrot, Toasted Almonds, Watermelon Radish, Coriander Lemon Vinaigrette. Good salad with nice texture variations.
Kale Banh Mi Salad. Pickled Carrots & Daikon, Weiser Farm Radish, Tutti Frutti Farm Tomatoes, Coleman Cilantro & Rău Ram, Fresno Chile, Fresh Cucumber, Crouton, Silken Tofu Vinaigrette.
Vietnamese Caesar Salad. Coleman Little Gem, Manchego, Lime, Blistered Tutti Frutti Tomato, Cilantro, Thai Basil, Rice Cracker. Usually I don’t like variants on a (really good) classic caesar, but this one was excellent.
From my cellar: 2009 Domaine René Leclerc Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Combes aux Moines. BH 89-91. A brooding and almost mute nose allows only glimpses of an earthy mélange of wild red and blue berry fruit aromas that are followed by rich, full and quite serious medium-bodied flavors that possess both good volume and fine length on the balanced if not especially complex finish.
Jimenez Farm Squash & Chickpea Curry. Coconut Milk, Mint. Really delicious.
Crab Fried Rice. Uni Emulsion with 63 Degree Farm Egg. I wanted (from the name) to love this, and it’s certainly good, but I think the “whole grain” rice just isn’t as yummy as traditional fried rice.
Turmeric Dill Black Cod. JF Farm Warm Dill & Scallion, Pineapple Anchovy Sauce. Very lovely flavors as well. Turmeric is traditional in Vietnam on fish and it sure works here.
Tamai Farm Swiss Chard & Shiitake Mushroom Hash. Weiser Farm Root Vegetables. Very nice veggie.
Crispy Whole Striped Bass. Herbs, Rice Cracker, Coleman Farm Lettuce Cups, Nuoc Cham. I had a similar fish in Vietnam and this was even more delicious, particularly with all the herb salad.
Black Bean & Ginger Braised Beef Cheeks. Bone Marrow, Coleman Farm Greens. The (late) winter version of this dish is very hearty with a succulent rich cheek cut. Delicious!
Ginger Scallion Braised Beef Bavette. Harris Ranch Beef, Coleman farm wild greens, Vietnamese herbs, grilled baguette. This is the spring version of the beef dish and still great, but a touch lighter.
Lemongrass Ginger Panna Cotta. Shortbread Crumble and Terry Farm Quince Compote. Very nice exotic flavors. I have to make a lemongrass ginger gelato! Speaking of:
A bunch of Gelatti by me:
Nocciola, Espresso e Bacio Gelato – using my new egg yolk based nut formulation with Piedmontese hazelnut to produce a stunning hazelnut base, then adding in house-made espresso caramel and chopped up bacio — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #Espresso #coffee #cafe #hazelnut #Nocciola #caramel #bacio
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Gelato – the base is a Fior di Latte but I made it with brown sugar instead of white so it matched the cookies better. Inclusions are cubes of house-made gluten-free (almond flour) artisinal chocolate chip cookie dough with Valrhona chocolate chunks! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #CookieDough #ChocolateChipCookie #Cookie #chocolate #valrhona #BrownSugar #GlutenFree
New flavor — Limoncello Biscotti — Limoncello Zabaione base with lemon cookie flavor and Lemon Oreos — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — Tastes just like lemon cookie! — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #IceCream #NomNom #dessert #lemon #limoncello #Zabaione #LemonCookie #Oreo #LemonOreos
Fresh back from Hawaii I created this new flavor with things I dragged home — Big Island — Coconut dairy base, Macadamia Nuts, and Fresh Mango — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — Island Fever! — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #IceCream #NomNom #dessert #Hawaii #MacadamiaNuts #nuts #mango #coconut #tropical
Overall, Không Tên is a hidden little gem. The food is very very good and quite interesting. It’s far more “American with Vietnamese flavors” then a more Vietnamese Fusion place like Little Sister. Quite creative. Also every dish is delicious. It might be a touch understated though, as it’s not super flashy in tonal style. And it’s a nice little space and reasonable to boot. If you’re on the Westside and like this sort of food at all, you should definitely give it a try!