phocatini (noun) 1. A French-Vietnamese combo of pho and... -catini. 2. Oxtail, pasta, Thai basil and sriracha, but no broth. 3. So it’s like pho without the pho, kind of.
For the record, it’s a pretty informal dictionary.
Ponder the profound implications of East Borough, the much-anticipated Costa Mesa import of French-Vietnamese-ness, now with the additional powers of a Pitfire owner and Superba chef, opening Thursday for lunch in Culver City.
It looks like a casual café you’d find on the streets of Saigon, with a small cluster of yellow stools and formica tables under a massive photomural involving hectic scooter traffic. And like all great Vietnamese street cafés, it’s the perfect spot to study phocatini over a tequila-tamarind-sriracha-salt cocktail before catching 50 Shades! The Musical at the Kirk Douglas Theatre a couple doors down. Right. Just like Saigon.
Anyway, you’re not generally in the habit of turning down patio tequila, so you can skip the inside for a table outside—a table covered in no time with that phocatini or tamarind-glazed lamb ribs or Vietnamese steak frites.
You remain fluent in the international language of fries.