11 Apr The District by Hannah An
The District by Hannah An opened two years ago, in 2015, on the busy 3rd Street, in the original space of Barefoot Cafe, across the street from Cedars Sinai Hospital. The District by Hannah An is owned by Hannah An, the eldest of Helene An’s five daughters. The restaurant business is in her blood, having grown up in her mother’s restaurants, including Beverly Hills iconic Crustacean.
The space is very beautiful. Starting with the outdoor covered patio with greenery crawling up the walls to the inside with wood walls and wood bars.The space is warm and friendly with a modern feel.
When I first arrived, I went to the bar to wait for my friend. The bartender offered me the menu and happy-hour menu but I explained I was having dinner in the dining room. He did not take initiative regarding drinks and I had to ask for the drink menu. After asking a few questions, I finally decided on a sparkling lambrusco, which they were out of. But he never tried to offer anything else in exchange. Luckily my friend arrived shortly after this and when we sat down for dinner, we selected an aromatic, crisp bottle of Elena Walch Gewurztraminer from Northern Italy to enjoy with the flavors of the food.
The food is described as “contemporary Vietnamese French American.” We started with the Cha Gio Roll, a fried roll with chicken, jicama, taro root, onion and carrot.
The Filet Mignon PHO is served with brisket, Vietnamese meatball, filet, vermicelli noodles, ginger, scallions, red onion, bean sprouts, mint, hoison sauce and sriracha.
A favorite dish was the District Wok Live Main Lobster with Hannah’s Noodles. Crustacean’s garlic noodles are one of their most famous dishes and at The District by Hannah An, An has her own take. The thinner noodles are tossed in a beurre blanc sauce. They are rich and delicate. The lobster is lightly fried in a curry tempura batter.
The Coriander Crust New Zealand Lamb is served with curry Brussels sprouts, braised fennel savoka, Bordelaise sauce and mint pesto.
For dessert we enjoyed the Pineapple Bread Pudding with caramel glaze and coconut and the gluten-free Chocolate Mousse with a layer of fudge, a layer of white chocolate mousse and a layer of milk chocolate mousse topped with raspberry coulee.
While the food was very tasty, the service was lacking. Our server, nice as she was, was missing in action most of the night. The busser would drop off a dish and when asked what it was, he could not describe what we had, other than “soup”, “lamb” or “dessert.” Our server never came over so we waved a young man down as he walked by and he gave us fantastic descriptions. Chad, the Captain Server, came to the rescue and came back to our table each time a plate was served. Eventually our server would come by but by then we not only had the information but we had already finished the dish. Her lack of attentiveness and inability to be one-step-ahead, versus three steps behind, would have ruined the entire experience. But Chad, with his Southern charm and positive, friendly energy, combined with his knowledge of the dishes, helped turn the service around.
The District by Hannah An
8722 W. Third St.