The District by Hannah An
 
 

Chilean sea bass (credit Joshua Lurie)

Vietnamese family specialties by Hannah An

By Joshua Lurie

The area surrounding Robertson Boulevard and West Third Street offers an interesting confluence of celeb-stalking paparazzi, trend-chasing shoppers, and patients receiving care at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Of course, all of these people need to eat, and lucky for them, The District serves some of the Westside’s best Vietnamese food.

Matriarch Helene An and her five daughters run House of An, a modern Vietnamese restaurant empire that spans from San Francisco to Costa Mesa. Hannah An opened this two-story location in 2015, featuring twin patios, ivy-coated walls, plenty of reclaimed wood, and Vietnamese art.

The menu designates several different virtual “Districts,” including Garden District for salads, Pho & Soup District, and Buddha District for vegetarian dishes. The Ocean District is particularly vibrant thanks to plates like Chilean sea bass, a play on the Hanoi classic cha ca, pictured above. Here, a flaky turmeric-crusted filet joins a bed of dill rice vermicelli with airy rice crisps, charred onions, and pineapple tamarind sauce.
Hannah’s Specialty resembles her mother’s secret garlic noodles (pictured below). Here, the buttery egg noodles come dressed with fried garlic, lime juice, Thai basil, and panko; they’re available unadorned or with luxurious proteins like jumbo prawns, Alaskan King crab legs, and Maine lobster.

For a showstopper in Buddha District, try the terrific vegetable dish that combines smoked multi-colored heirloom cauliflower, edamame, and hazelnuts, all draped with crunchy wakame strands and plated with a swipe of tangy purple sauce.

Before leaving, visit Sweet District for thin-crusted pear tarte Tatin, featuring a cake studded with caramelized fruit, rooted in caramel rum sauce, and capped with a refreshing scoop of crème fraiche ice cream. Is this what The District’s menu describes “the culinary answer to happiness?” Quite possibly.

Garlic Noodles with Uni

hours

Mon–Thu 11:30 AM–10 PM; Fri 11:30 AM–11 PM; Sat 11 AM–11 PM; Sun 11 AM–9 PM

price range

$18 (curry market vegetables) to $44 (The District 10 oz rib eye)
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