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Singapore and Vietnam come together in Little Tokyo

A dinner had under lights suspended in wrought-iron birdcages is certainly a far cry from the hawker centers of Singapore, or Vietnam's pho stalls.

But at the new Spice Table, husband-and-wife Bryant Ng and Kim Luu-Ng are bringing the street-food soul of their respective Singaporean and Vietnamese heritages to L.A.'s indoor dining scene.

A seat at the bar commands a fine view of the wood-fired hearth used to grill the various satays on chef Bryant Ng's menu. Slivers of lamb belly ($10) combine juicy meat with the crunch of a well-charred crust, and we were grateful that the accompanying deeply roasted peanut sauce was made with far less sugar than the saccharine standard.

The wood fire works its way into other dishes, too: Baby bok choy ($7) is charred and perfumed with smoke, and the banana-leaf-wrapped mackerel otah ($14)–a tamale-like construction with coconut standing in for masa–is finished over the flames.

We could've sworn the slippery noodles in the coconut-milk-rich laksa soup (pictured; $12) were freshly made, but our server told us otherwise. We're still not sure we believe him. But then again, Ng, a Mozza vet, certainly knows a thing or two about boiling pasta.

The Spice Table, 114 S. Central Ave., Little Tokyo; 213-620-1840 or thespicetable.com