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The culinary answer to happiness
How The District Fuses Vietnamese & California Flavors
By Jen Jones Donatelli

May 11, 2015

Sea and be seen! The District’s black cod dish, canh chua, marinated in tamarind and served in a tomato herb broth with sweet and sour vegetables, is a favorite of the restaurant’s buzzy clientele.

It’s fitting that a massive communal table repurposed from a 280-year-old hand-carved Vietnamese door serves as the centerpiece of The District; after all, owner Hannah An envisions the recently opened restaurant as a gateway to the traditional Vietnamese foods of yore.

“On my last trip to Vietnam, I traveled off the beaten path and tried so many great traditional dishes that most restaurants don’t make anymore,” says An. “I thought, Wouldn’t it be great to marry these flavors and herbs with the amazing proteins and vegetables of California? It was kind of perfect.”

An’s epiphany was enough to inspire her to leave her family’s successful business, House of An, and start her own solo venture. The leap was a significant one—An had essentially grown up in the kitchen of her family’s first restaurant, San Francisco’s Thanh Long, and since 1991 had been an integral part of running the six House of An restaurants (including Crustacean and Tiato in Los Angeles).

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