Little Sister

Just when we were ready to see the gastropub trend take its gourmet sliders and slide right out of town, we get Little Sister. The look—communal tables, hardwood floors, street art-inspired decor—doesn’t much surprise. But with the menu, chef and co-owner Tin Vuong deftly translates the flavors of his native Vietnam for the Manhattan Beach drinking scene. Sugarcane acts as grilling skewers for ground shrimp. Soft-shell crab provides the filling for a loose interpretation of bánh mì. Digging for pork belly inside a bánh xèo crepe becomes a delicious treasure hunt. Craft beers, wines, and sakes are joined by a slew of Asian teas, cold or hot. Color us refreshed.