Vietnamese with a hipster feel to it, in Silver lake.
Yeah, yeah. I know. You saw the sub-headline, and your blood froze.
Now, I’ll be honest, this restaurant broke all kinds of rules. There wasn’t a Vietnamese face to be found anywhere in this restaurant, behind or in front of the counter. I was made to wait a bit as I got in, and I didn’t leave. The place was that crowded?
But when I got my food, the food was good. Real good.
You want to skip ahead to the What Should I Get Portion? Go ahead. I don’t blame ya. I had that good a time there.
Gingergrass…to be honest…looks like a Pizza Joint. I’m not kidding, and it’s not a total diss either. It’s just not what you expect a Vietnamese place to look like or feel. That’s okay, they make up for it.
When I walked in, the place was a madhouse. Literally every table and char was taken. It was raining (or rather about to rain outside) and it looked like all of Silverlake had shown up for lunch. That was okay. Right around the time I got my table, things were lightening up inside…though it started to come down outside.
That’s okay, I had good food to keep me warm. Plus, Gingergrass has an open air Kitchen, so you can see everybody working. Despite the crowds, it’s also got one of the nicer crews out there. The Waitstaff doesn’t forget about you and was nice as all get out. That alone should get you to come back.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Oh dear God, where do I start?
Okay, I went with Crispy Imperial Rolls to start off with, because when at a Vietnamese place when don’t you get the Crispy Imperial Rolls? It’d be rude not to. But instead of diving in any one of a number of Vietnamese classics that I saw on the menu, I went with something they only serve at night and on weekends, the Duck Confit Noodle Bowl that comes with a Poached Duck Egg.
I’m sorry, but you must not have heard what I said…a POACHED DUCK EGG I SAID!!
Oh, dear God that was good. I also felt a little love from the Waitstaff just for ordering this thing, so…get on down to Gingergrass and bask in the love, my friends. It’s worth it, but slobbering down some Duck Confit is even better. My favorite Duck-themed bowl is still at Flying Pig, but this is a damn close second.
Then for Dessert, yes, I ordered dessert, I went for the Coconut Lime Bars.
Taste buds sent flying into overdrive. I mean, this is one of the best desserts I’ve had in a long, long time, and one of the best dishes I’ve had period. Fantastic stuff. When I got back, I’m coming back for this stuff. Nectar of the Gods, in plate form.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just understand that the place does get crowded. There is outdoor seating, but it’s right along Glendale Blvd., a pretty busy stretch of street. Other than that, nothing much to warn you about.
Off topic, I gotta ask, where are my Vietnamese grandmas? Where are my Vietnamese Grandma joints? So far, I like places like Lemongrass, Blue Hen and Gingergrass, but they all have a sleek, modern feel to them.
Where are my Vietnamese Grandmas? Where are they eating?
PARKING: There is Free Parking in back. Gingergrass doesn’t have what you’d call an over abundance of parking, but I went in the middle of a mad-crazy lunch crush, and still found a place in relatively short order. Gotta believe a lot of the regulars are neighborhood people walking down from home or local work.
Also, be aware that Gingergrass does not share space with some of it’s neighbor businesses. Just be sure to park in places designated for Gingergrass customers. I get the feeling that space availability is tight, and some folks are in a ticketing mood.
Oh, and there’s a Bank of America directly across from the Restaurant. Resist the urge. You might be able to get away with it once, but I know those guys like to ticket.
2396 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
Tel: (323) 644-1600
Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am – 10:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:30am – 10:30pm