If there’s one thing Figueroa Street needs it’s breakfast. There are some notable staples—Antigua Bread, Metro Balderas, La Fuente—but there’s no denying that some new blood is in order. That’s why I was intrigued when I heard that Good Girl Dinette is now serving breakfast! Owner Diep Tran says she labored over the new morning menu, and it shows. The meticulously edited “American diner meets Vietnamese comfort food” menu hits all the necessary sweet and savory notes while offering something novel to the complacent breakfast goer.
Ordering oatmeal at a restaurant is usually a mea culpa for eating three chili dogs the night before. Inspired by chè, a Vietnamese pudding, Tran’s Coconut Oatmeal isn’t useful for such self-flagellation. Steel-cut oats are made creamy and decadent with coconut milk and topped with sweet ginger maple syrup and crushed sesame seeds. The oats are soaked overnight, so they’re only minimally cooked, giving the dish a lightly grainy texture.
Potato fiends will love the Turmeric Dill Hash. The simple, earthy flavor of potatoes and turmeric is made dazzling with a baked crispiness and a cool dollop of dill yogurt sauce. There’s a roasted pork version of this, which I can only imagine.
The Lady Boy, a take on the traditional croque-madame will most likely become the star of the menu. And why not? Thick cut and peppery Vietnamese-style pork is sandwiched between two slightly charred pieces of toast and covered in a dijon-heavy béchamel sauce, cheese and a plump, yolky egg. What’s not to love? A glass of fresh-squeezed tangerine juice was the perfect complement.
However unnecessary, we took a hand pie to go. This time around, there was a choice between cherry and squash, but fillings will change with the season. Last Labor Day, I bought a full pie from Good Girl and then pined after it once the last slice was eaten. That drama is over because these flaky, buttery wonders are here to stay.
Weekend breakfast is revived.
Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.