Paul Hibler may have made a name for himself with pizza, but he's gearing up to show L.A. that his range reaches past casual Italian fare. Though Superba Food & Bread won't serve until March, Hibler's East Borough, which has served a loyal clientle in Costa Mesa since 2010, will open a second location in Culver City this week.
In partnership with East Borough owners John Cao and Chloe Tran, Hibler and Superba chef Jason Neroni are pleased to bring an expanded version of East Borough to L.A. In addition to Vietnamese standards like banh mi and vermicelli noodles, East Borough Culver City will serve "fraiche" takes on the food of Tran's youth.
The lunch menu is divided between starters, banh mi, noodles, and larger plates while dinner features small plates, greens, and shareable plates. Spring rolls come either with lemongrass chili tofu or grilled pork sausage and a spicy tomato sauce—a nod to Neroni's influence. Fried rice gets salt cod, chicken, and rapini while the lunch menu's Vietnamese crepe, bánh xèo, stays true to form with crab, shitake, bean sprouts, and nuoc mam. Bo frites put a grilled hanger steak with oyster sauce on the same plate as crispy daikon radish fries. Green papaya salad comes with beef jerky; baby octopus gets dressed up with both Thai basil and crispy brussels sprouts. Prices range from $6 to $30, but mostly fall within the $12 range.
A five seat bar serves a petite menu of wines by the glass and bottle. Bottles of Singha and Beerlao stand in coolers side-by-side with local craft brews. Cocktails ($9, $10) include the Saigon Soda with gin, kiwi vinegar, lime, and thai basil and Blood and Quicksand which combines scotch, sweet vermouth, cherry, and pineapple. Vietnamese coffee and housemade egg creams and sodas are also available.
Set to serve lunch this Thursday, East Borough will offer an extended dinner menu beginning next week.
East Borough, 9810 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310-596-8266 or east-borough.com.