East Meets West…


I love Vietnamese food.

I am always searching for authentic Vietnamese restaurants. There is a new place in Culver City so I had to try it out.

East Borough is located in now trendy Culver City next to the Kirk Douglas Theatre. It is casual, but nicely decorated. It was a beautiful day so we sat outside. Our server was a delightful transplanted New Yorker who is saving up for a full blown Far East adventure.

fish sauce2

The condiments immediately excited me…the fish sauce was from Phu Quoc, a fabulous little island between Vietnam and Cambodia where we spent 5 glorious days. We visited the fish sauce factory and even if you are visually impaired you know you are there…how can something so tasty smell so dreadful?!

Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island

The Vietnamese fly in from all over the country and carry home huge vats of the fish sauce. Unfortunately, you cannot bring it into the United States.

Daikon Rice Cakes
Daikon Rice Cakes

We started off with a fabulous daikon rice cake with egg, cilantro, shiitake mushrooms in a spicy soy sauce ($8). The flavors were exciting and the egg really complimented the rice cake.

Black Kale Salad
Black Kale Salad

We followed it up with a very fresh and delicious black kale salad with toasted coconut, pickled mango, mint and cashews ($11).

Sugarcane Shrimp Vermicelli
Sugarcane Shrimp Vermicelli

David selected one of my fav combination plates…sugarcane shrimp with a vermicelli noodle salad of greens, herbs, cucumbers, bean sprouts, peanuts, fried shallots and a crispy imperial roll ($12). The shrimp were large, perfectly grilled and flavorful ($14).

Belly and Egg
Short Rib Special

I ordered a bit out of character and went with the short rib special over jasmine rice. The meat was succulent, rich and delicious ($13).

Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Vietnamese Iced Coffee

To finish off the meal, a must for me is the Cafe Sau Da, translation Vietnamese coffee ($4). What’s life without Vietnamese coffee? I bought the coffee drip when in Vietnam…fabulous. and more effective than Red Bull. They also have an enticing list of cocktails.

interior east 2

The atmosphere is casual, laid back. The interior is simple, but tasteful. I thought the food and quality were excellent, especially for the price point. The service efficient and friendly.

Costa Mesa’s John Cao and chef  Chloe Tran are owners. Additionally, Paul Hibler (Pitfire Pizza, Superba Snack Bar) and chef Jason Neroni (Superba Snack Bar) have joined forces in this contemporary Vietnamese endeavor.

Chef Tran says she’s “melding the unusual and the familiar to make her native cuisine vibrant, yet approachable.” Thus, the wording in the name, East Borough Fraiche Restaurant.

For a delicious Vietnamese meal definitely head East.

East Borough Fraiche Restaurant 9810 W Washington Blvd at Sawtelle Blvd., Culver City, California. Open daily. Lunch: 11:30am-3pm, Dinner: Sunday-Wednesday 5:30-10pm, Thursday-Saturday 5:30-11pm. Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11:30-3pm. Street parking.


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