Porridge Puffs Minh Phan Porridge + Puffs

Porridge + Puffs

2801 Beverly Blvd. (N. Occidental Blvd.)
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Cuisine: Contemporary / Asian
Chef Minh Phan’s 2.0 version of her former Hollywood Porridge + Puffs finds a home on Beverly Boulevard in Historic Filipinotown.
Openings: Lunch Tues.-Sat., Dinner Thurs.-Sat., Brunch Sun.


Porridge + Puffs Restaurant Review:

About the chef: Fans of LA chef Minh Phan include a community of ambitious young Angeleno chefs and a growing culty following of diners alike. She’s admired for her unique creative vision, and her commitment to community and the local progressive food movement. Phan’s stint at Beachwood Café made it magical for a good while, and her modest pop-up restaurant project Field Trip at the Hollywood Farmers Market was where she germinated Porridge + Puffs, also a pop-up around town before finding its current brick-and-mortar home.

The décor: In a sunny storefront on Beverly Boulevard in Historic Filipinotown, the restaurant’s airy exposed beams soar over tall white walls adorned with an almost fairy-like display of dried bouquets of flowers and herbs. The décor is minimalist rustic industrial, with unfussy wood tables and chairs and a wall of comfortable banquette seats, perfect for sliding into for brunch or a casual cozy dinner.

Likes: Creatively crafted seasonal dishes wake up your palate.
Dislikes: Popular specials often sell out early so later diners can be disappointed; the limited porridge menu, and moderate portion size, isn’t for everyone.

Food & Drinks: Phan’s meticulous techniques with fermentation, preserving, heritage grains and wild ingredients inform her pristine porridge concoctions, which change weekly according to the seasons. Although she also works with other grains, like amaranth, a rice porridge made with California-grown Kokuho Rose is the main base for her bowls. Asians may call it jook or congee, Italians name it risotto; either way it’s the warm, comforting, savory foundation on which the chef builds her inventive proteins and vegetables. The one mainstay always on the menu is the Poultry + Mushroom, a rich dish with sweet soy braised chicken and shiitakes punctuated with crispy shallots, celery pickles and a sprinkle of greens. Large, tender seared scallops top another bowl with pickled kumquat slices and pea sprouts, while an “Umami Flavor Bomb” showcases fresh spice-marinated California konbu and miso roasted king oysters on negi (a type of Japanese leek) porridge. The Asian herb slaw, herbaceously pungent with shiso and holy basil, is a nice accompaniment. And the puffs? They are puffy deep-fried dough bites, used “naked” to dip in the porridge and sweet with cardamom sugar and coffee cream. Try the brown butter mochi with miso caramel for a satisfying dessert. To drink there’s coffee and teas, and a fragrant house-made hibiscus-rose shrub.

Chef Gabriel Kreuther

Congratulations to chef Gabriel Kreuther! He just earned GAYOT's highest rating. Read GAYOT's article.