StopBye Cafe, a 405 freeway-friendly cafe from chef Justin Tulus, an Indonesia native and Lukshon alum, and partner Tom, opened in the summer of 2016 in a Lawndale strip mall. The space previously housed a pizzeria, Mexican restaurant and soul food spot. Now you’ll find pastel green walls lined with Indonesian art, five wood tables, and a wall-mounted menu with photo aids, which are useful given atypical dish names. Tulus serves burgers and chicken wings, but also draws inspiration from Asia, including beef rendang from his home country, house-made noodles, and Lawndy fried rice, a reference to the neighborhood.
I enjoyed the cafe’s take on the Korean rice and vegetable dish, bibimbap, dubbed BB Bye ($7). Tulus piled a bed of rice with well-spiced ground pork and drapes them with a sunny-side-up egg and frizzled leeks. He flanks the bowl with mildly pickled cucumbers and punchy kimchi. Toss the ingredients to integrate the different flavors, or eat piecemeal. Either way, the dish will work out well. A bottle of gochujang, to increase kick, was the only missing element.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.