Starting this Sunday at 11:30 A.M., chef Connie Tran takes over the enchanting patio at Franco on Melrose to showcase cooking found at the Vietnamese brunch and lunch table. Tran left Vietnam with her family during the Fall of Saigon in 1975 for a move to Alabama, followed two years later by a transition to Orange County. Her considerable time in professional kitchens eventually lead her to open the pan-Asian concept Cafe D’Orient in Orange with her mother before going on to work for Zov Karamardian’s eponymous restaurants. Every other Sunday in Hollywood, Tran’s BEP Vietnamese Kitchen (Bep itself means “kitchen”) will offer central L.A. a taste of the dishes she was weaned on at home, in the Little Saigon restaurants run by her mother, and her uncle’s own Seafood Palace chain, in an attempt to broaden the local familiarity with Vietnamese cuisine beyond pho and banh mi and to prepare for a hopeful, eventual brick and mortar.
$37 buys an eight-course prix-fixe brunch of dotingly made dishes like braised galangal pork with quail eggs, grilled tumeric catfish, and betel leaf-wrapped beef, much of it served family-style, along with soft drinks like salty pickled plum soda (xi muoi) and Chrysanthemum mint tea (hau cuc) and cafe sua da.
Come take a look at what Tran is cooking in a slideshow look into BEP Vietnamese Kitchen.