This gem from chef Helene An wasn’t named after a mint-like Vietnamese herb haphazardly: the ingredient is grown in the restaurant's garden and integrated into many of An's fusion plates. The casual all-day space in a Santa Monica office building has a juice bar and snack market that draws a corporate crowd, but the full-service lunch is the real attraction. The menu features both updated Vietnamese standbys like banh mi and stewed beef noodle soup, and tweaked American comfort plates like turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes. A bar in the main dining room makes good use of the namesake herb, too, where bartenders pour tiato-infused sake that just tastes better when had on the spacious patio.
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