The Manhattan Beach dining scene may finally be growing up, with Tin Vuong's new chophouse-inspired bistro, Little Sister.
Not only is the restaurant Vuong's strongest addition to his lineup yet--he's also at the helm of Abigaile and Wildcraft Pizza--it's also one of the most unique and electrifying restaurants the South Bay has seen in a long time.
Vuong's lengthy menu pulls from his Southeast Asian roots, unfolding like a culture-hopping periodic table: Try the vibrant red Myanmar okra curry with saffron-seasoned rice ($9), or eggplant-beef tartare studded with Sichuan peppercorns ($12). Fiery Singapore chile crab ($15), sandwiched inside a banh mi roll, backflips between sweet and spicy.
The strongest offerings, however, are Little Sister's Vietnamese dishes.
We loved the easy balance of plump prawn-and-green papaya salad ($11), tossed with cashews and a mellow lemongrass-cilantro dressing, and the herbaceous crunch of nem nuong ($10), rice-paper spring rolls filled with roast pork and vegetables.
Forgo the underwhelming take on French petits fours for dessert; eat more at dinner instead, with a bowl of pork belly and soy-chile-anointed rice noodles ($8). Or, have a cold beer crafted at Vuong's nearby Brewery at Abigaile.
Might as well keep it in the family.