Monday, April 12, 2010

Rate-A-Restaurant #223: Good Girl Dinette

Restaurant: Good Girl Dinette

Location: 110 North Avenue 56 (Highland Park)

Type of restaurant: Vietnamese comfort food

We stipulated: Blogger Kid's preschool was holding another "Parents Night Out" event -- which means date night for me and Maria. (Er, more like "Date Night Plus One," as the Blogger Baby joins us on our so-called "Date Nights" these days.) It was also a Friday during Lent -- so no meat for us.

They stipulated: The Good Girl Dinette is BYOB -- yay! -- and most of its signature dishes can come veggie-only if you so desire -- which worked for us that particular Friday. Also, their curry pies take 30 minutes to bake.

What we ordered: House-made pop, $2.25 (parkling water mixed with fresh citrus -- limes, mandarin oranges, or oro blanco grapefruit; we picked the grapefruit); Fresh spring rolls, $6.25 (stuffed with tofu and herbs, served with a peanut sauce); cauliflower curry pot pie, $10 (savory curry pies topped with a homemade biscuit); roasted oyster mushroom baguette, $7.25 (served with pickles, homemade cilantro-maggi mayo, and spicy fries or vietnamese slaw; we picked the spicy fries, of course)

High point: The Oro blanco grapefruit soda was not too sweet, but just right. The banh mi had a nice spice and crunchy bread. And the fries were fantastic -- no ketchup required.

Low point: Wish it didn't take 30 minutes for the pot pie; I could also use more filling inside. But the curry in it is excellent.

Overall impression: The Good Girl Dinette is easily one of our new favorites. The prices are right, the environment is inviting, the restaurant very kid-friendly. And the food is a nice mix of unique, unusual and familiar, comforting flavors. I even love the space: In the ground floor of an older Highland Park building.

Chance we'll go back: We already have, introducing friends with similar-aged kids to the restaurant. Four adults and four little ones sounds a little nuts -- yet it turned out OK on a Sunday evening. And the bill came just as the babies started getting restless. This time out, we also got a chance to try some of the meat dishes -- and I'd now argue that the Good Girl Dinette's galangal chicken baguette may be the best banh mi you'll find within Los Angeles city limits.

(For our complete list of nearly 225 restaurant reviews, check out our companion Rate-A-Restaurant site.)

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