Friday, November 2, 2012

Sound Bites 2.1: Starry Kitchen Nights @ Tiara Cafe, DTLA

Starry Kitchen Nights is the return of Starry Kitchen in the form of a dinnertime popup (sort of?) at Tiara Cafe. Wing and I went Halloween weekend and, sadly, Nguyen Tran wasn't dressed up in one of his famous costumes, but it was probably for the best because he was crazy busy with customers, but not too busy to enthusiastically greet us (wonder if he ever has an off day because he's always such a ball of energy) and point out his f-ing favorite dish.

Unfortunately, there were only two of us, so we couldn't order the extremely popular (you have to reserve it ahead of time) Singaporean Chili Crab.  Being Wing's first time at Starry Kitchen, I had to have her try the other deliciousness on the menu.

What we ate:
Top: 1 - 2, Bottom: 3 - 4
  1. Singaporean Chili Crab sauce over rice - a fiery hello from Chef Thi Tran since we didn't order the crab.  The sauce was so spicy, but so good that I am currently gathering a team of eaters to return and obtain the crab in its entirety. 
  2. Pineapple Beer Chicken Wing Soup - my all-time favorite chicken soup.  I pretty much went back to Starry Kitchen every time they had this on the menu.  Just when I didn't think it could get any better, it arrived to our a clay pot!  It's probably their best version I've had so far.  Wing loved the fresh pineapple and oh so tender chicken as much as I did.  Nguyen thought I was coming in the day before when they had run out of soup, but, luckily, they had more that night.  I think I would have cried if they were out.  
  3. Claypot Carmelized Striped Bass + Pancetta - Wing has a theory that everything tastes better in a clay pot and I concur.  I'm used to having the catfish version, but Starry Kitchen's striped bass version is definitely better.  It was so delectable with the accompanying white rice.  And I'm so addicted to the sauce that even though we finished all the fish, I wanted to get the white rice packed up with the rest of the sauce poured on top.  What?  I ain't gonna waste no tasty sauce!  Jennio ate my leftovers the next day and agreed upon the savoriness.  Nguyen pointed out that this is his f-ing favorite dish on the menu and it's now definitely one of mine.  
  4. House-Cured Roast Pork Belly XO Fried Rice - okay, we probably over-ordered for 2 people by the time we got this, but it was good and, by the way, it tastes f-ing good with the Claypot Bass sauce.  

Song Pairing: 
Hip Hop Hurray - Naughty by Nature
Because I always hear something old school whenever I'm at Starry Kitchen

More Reviews:
LA Times
Marian the Foodie