Influenced by thousands of years of Vietnamese culture and the diverse districts of her native homeland, restaurateur Hannah An debuts The District by Hannah An, a harmonious dining experience that arouses the five senses and introduces guests to a contemporary interpretation on the traditional flavors of Vietnam. Hailing from the established Crustacean Beverly Hills hospitality family, the restaurant is Hannah’s first solo endeavor and a very personal expression of all she holds dear to her native Vietnam. Combined with the ethos prevalent throughout Southern California of utilizing the bounty of fresh, local produce and seafood, the menu showcases recipes discovered during her travels throughout the country—whether in districts filled with street vendors or those laden with French-trained chefs. At The District, Hannah’s contemporary flair defines the setting, as well as the plate, combining chic West Coast style with elements of 19th century glamour. Occupying an elegant yet approachable indoor-outdoor space on Los Angeles’ centrally-located Third Street, the restaurant features a distinctive cuisine that honors cultural and culinary tradition while creating a quintessentially L.A. experience, with Hannah serving as one’s personal host and guide.
Hannah’s distinctive vision for The District’s design and décor is executed by designer Kenneth Ussenko of KU Productions. The entrance features century-old Vietnamese doors and is framed by large Douglas Fir columns, suggesting the architecture of a Colonial Vietnamese home, while ivy climbs the walls of a broad, fountain-laden patio. Inside, subtle Asian accents join an industrial-chic environment that’s reminiscent of a bustling Vietnamese street scene, with weathered foundation bricks, oxidized metals, and hand-blown light fixtures with Edison bulbs. Vietnamese-inspired textured wallpaper, ornate wall and floor tiles, and decorative mirrors are reminiscent of a time when Hanoi was regarded as the glamorous “Paris of the East,” and is translated to a contemporary Californian motif. Antique finds such as wheels from carts used to transport families in Vietnam, and a 280-year-old intricately hand-carved wooden door cleverly repurposed as a communal table, provide a connection to An’s family heritage. Moving upstairs, guests encounter a more refined atmosphere that calls to mind an opulent and provincial home, featuring a white onyx bar flanked by glass-ensconced wine cabinets, and rich, dark wood underfoot.
Hannah An has crafted an approachable menu that celebrates contemporary, yet traditional Vietnamese cuisine with the global flavors that have shaped the dishes of her homeland. She sources Southern California’s finest seasonal seafood, produce, and garden-fresh herbs, allowing her to transform traditional favorites and treasured discoveries into contemporary dishes that appeal to the Western palate. The District’s cuisine also pays homage to Vietnam’s five fundamental elements—spicy, sour, bitter, salty, and sweet—creating a harmonious and healthful dining experience that entices all five senses.
The beverage program embraces the same locavore sensibility as the restaurant’s kitchen, incorporating housemade tinctures and bitters, as well as seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs in both classic and exotic cocktails that celebrate the vibrant flavors of Southeast Asia. In addition to a large selection of premium sakes, the wine list showcases boutique producers throughout California and France, plus eclectic selections as global as The District’s cuisine, with a variety of price points represented. Local craft beers and premium Asian labels are also available, with all beverage offerings complementing the restaurant’s contemporary Vietnamese-inspired menu.