From a food hall eatery to his very own place in Little River, chef Jon Nguyen is ready to swing the doors open on his first brick-and-mortar restaurant, Tran An. The fast-casual spot is set to debut on Saturday, October 10, bringing its dual noodle bar and banh mi sandwich shop concept to the up-and-coming neighborhood.
The 20-seat restaurant is dark, cozy and groovy with a crimson and mustard-yellow interior that’s decked in geometrical furnishings, which Nguyen and interior designer Mark Alan Diaz deliberately selected to evoke harmony and unity in the space. They say community feel, we say sexy disco vibes. Slide into one of the velvet banquettes cast in amber lights and you’ll see what we mean.
The food is much more straightforward as the menu focuses on Vietnamese comfort food and draws from the chef’s own family recipes (Nguyen named the restaurant after his grandfather). Tran An keeps it simple with three types of traditional banh mi sandwiches, three types of pho—beef, chicken and vegan, all served with a broth that takes about eight hours to cook—and several options for bowls, such as the vermicelli noodle and salad topped with lemongrass sausage. Plus, a few shareable plates, like the shrimp spring rolls, and a dessert-like Vietnamese iced coffee. Fans of chef Nguyen’s Politan Row spot will recognize the row of Grandma Sauce near the takeout window. The craveable, vinegar-based condiment is available to purchase and goes well on everything (it even makes bland broccoli taste good).
Tran An is located at 215 NE 82nd St and opens Monday through Saturday from noon to 10pm and Sundays from noon to 6pm. Check out the full menu online.
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