6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Good Girl Dinette: A Vietnamese Diner

Support Provided By

The passage of the American Immigration Act of 1965 opened the door to hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Asia and Latin America, shifting the ethnic make up of the United States. Many of the new immigrants from Asia and the Pacific Rim who settled in Southern California choose to take up residence in the vast San Gabriel Valley rather than in the decaying core of Los Angeles' historic Chinatown. This afforded many an opportunity to own a home, start a business and claim the American dream as their own.

A young Diep Tran and her family found themselves in the suburbs of Los Angeles when they arrived from Vietnam in 1978. Two years later, her aunt and uncle began one of the first Vietnamese restaurants in Los Angeles: Pho 79, now a chain with locations in Alhambra and Orange County.

Growing up around her family's kitchen in the San Gabriel Valley presented Tran with two distinct culinary worlds, one inhabited by her family and one that was part of a more informal American diner culture.

Diep Tran is now the chef and owner of a restaurant that reflects the sort of culinary hybridity that you'd expect to find in the polyglot tapestry of Southern California: the Good Girl Dinette, an American diner serving chicken curry pot pie with buttermilk biscuit crust, grandpa's porridge (that cures all ailments!) and grandma's Pho.

The eclecticism of Tran's menu is a reflection of a new generation of down-to-earth chefs now coming of age in America, this after having grown up with chile, bahn mi and grits on their plates.


Culinary Tradition of Food Fusion
Diep Tran describes her restaurant Good Girl Dinette, a Vietnamese diner, and the culinary tradition of food fusion.


Social Justice for Food
Diep Tran explains the slow food movement in Highland Park and her business relationship with local farmers.


DIY Culture
Diep Tran aligns the current urban homestead trend with immigrant culture and Highland Park's plentiful second-hand shops that lend itself to DIY sensibilities.


Gentrification
Diep Tran defends her place in the Highland Park community and dismisses assumptions about access to good, local, and healthy food for people of color.

Support Provided By
Read More
Aaron Choi, owner of Girl and Dug Farm, tends to a crop in a large field.

Pink Blueberries and Black Nebulas: Girl & Dug Farm's Specialty Greens Inspire Adventurous Cooking at Home

Through its commitment to biodiverse farming practices and consumer education, Girl & Dug Farm offers a hopeful example for a healthy, flavorful and culturally diverse food system.
Making vegetarian bánh chưng with peanuts | Sri Panchalam

Keeping A Tasty Lunar New Year Tradition Alive with The Bánh Chưng Collective

With the annual convening of the Bánh Chưng Collective, Chef Diep Tran keeps a beloved Lunar New Year culinary tradition alive to multigenerational participants.
Noriko Kamei enjoying sake | Still from "The Migrant Kitchen" Sequoia Sake

Where to Find Namazake in Los Angeles

Unlike wine, sake is best consumed fresh. The freshest sake you could arguably get your hands on is namazake or unpasteurized sake. Here's where to find it in Los Angeles.