As much as I enjoyed The Spice Table, the late great Southeast Asian restaurant from Bryant Ng and Kim Luu-Ng in Little Tokyo, I enjoy the couple’s new Santa Monica restaurant with Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan even more. Thankfully, a number of key elements survived the move to Cassia, including a wood-burning grill with a copper hood. Until now, casualties have included their banh mi, kaya donut, and tripe satay. At The Spice Table, Chef Ng marinated beef tripe in soy sauce, palm sugar, and garlic before wood-grilling skewers to great effect. Thankfully, he’s revived this classic dish, and the preparation is even more impressive.
Grilled Beef Tripe ($15) features marinated skewers of pleasantly chewy, beautifully blistered cow intestine, which are partially submerged in pho broth with sweet onions and cilantro and served with fantastic clay oven bread that’s alternately crisp and supple. I piled chunks of tripe onto the bread with onions and cilantro, folded it over. From there, just dip and repeat.