If it's dark outside, you won't be eating Pho. At least not when Mot Hai Ba (pronounced mo’oht high bah and translates to "one, two, three") opens today.
That's because the flavorful soup is never served at dinner in Vietnam. And it's that kind of authenticity that Jeana Johnson & Colleen O'Hare (Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House, Good 2 Go Taco) plan to infuse into everything at their newest venture.
Well, except maybe the French wines and Belgian beers. That's more a tradition-in-the-making.
In the intimate Lakewood restaurant that only seats 30 (plus 20 on the patio), diners can feast on Pho, Banh Mi, and char-grilled pork belly and pork meatballs with vermicelli and herbs (pictured).
At dinner, the choices multiply exponentially with barbecued five-spice chicken wings, fried frog legs, braised oxtail, and marinated grilled fish among the must-haves.
And for a brand-new restaurant, the dishes have quite the heritage. Many are from 1,000-year-old street food recipes that the duo discovered on research trips to Hanoi where they also took cooking classes from locals.
Lucky for us, we get to eat their homework.
Nearby: The Mecca; Lakewood Landing; Matt's Rancho Martinez
Photo courtesy Kevin Hamilton