The Spice Table

by Los Angeles Magazine, June 1, 2011

The cuisines of Singapore and Vietnam converge at the first solo effort from former Pizzeria Mozza chef Bryant Ng. Skewers of delightfully fatty lamb belly satay are dipped in a fiery peanut sauce bearing zero resemblance to the brown paste found elsewhere. Authentic Hainanese chicken rice—that deceptively simple Singaporean staple—soothes on the level of Mom’s noodle soup. Speaking of noodles, they swim in a spicy coconut milk-based laksa broth along with a halved hard-boiled egg. Crunchy wedges of toast are smothered with chili-spiked ground chicken livers, and an even crunchier baguette gets a hearty smear of smooth pâté. If all this talk of zesty Southeast Asian flavors has you hankering for a cool beer, you’re in luck—craft brews abound, as do plenty of light-bodied German and eastern European wines. A bowl of kaffir lime custard is a refreshing finish.