WHY Starry Kitchen spices up the Downtown lunch scene with a modern, irreverent approach to Vietnamese-influenced cooking.
WHAT California Plaza is a little less corporate with the success of freewheeling Starry Kitchen, which started as an underground restaurant in the owner’s apartment. You pick a protein (free-range lemongrass chicken, the famed crispy tofu balls, spicy pork belly) and a ‘vessel’ (banh mi sandwich, wrap, salad or rice/veggies), and there’s your meal. They serve dinner two nights a week, unless something comes up, so check first. This is also a hot spot for pop-up dinners, including LudoBites.