Good Girl Dinette is good, not great.

Moving right along my list of L.A. restaurants to try, R and I checked out Good Girl Dinette, a restaurant in Highland Park that came highly recommended by our neighbors, often mentioned in food blogs, and one of Jonathan Gold’s 99 essential L.A. restaurants.

GGD describe themselves as “American diner meets Vietnamese comfort food”, and that seems accurate.  We ordered fries, salad, pot pie, and “pop” (wonder if the owner is also a midwest girl).  Sounds pretty diner-y, but everything was all Vietnamese-d and hipster-fied:

Spicy fries tossed with garlic, cilantro, and chilies served with cilantro-maggi mayo. (This is what maggi is. I didn't know either.)

Chicken curry pot pie and seared beef rice noodle salad. Not pictured: House-made lime pop (sparkling water mixed with citrus from the farmers market).

Overall, GGD was good, but not great.  A place you’re down for going, but don’t get excited about.  It’s just not a place you bring a friend, wait for them to take their first bite and then say, “Amazing, right?”  I live for those places.

At first bite, my seared beef was awesome – super tender and flavorful.  But, as I kept eating, it just felt super chewy and I was kind of put off by it.  The salad was packed with fresh, tasty veggies though.  I liked it a lot, but I’m not sure if it was any different than what I’d find at any Vietnamese restaurant.  R’s pot pie was just okay.  He said it was sweet and didn’t seem to enjoy it much.  I didn’t care for the homemade soda either – it just tasted like it was missing vodka.  

But those fries!  Man, the spicy fries were the best part.  That oil/garlic/cilantro/chili combo is such a winner.  I really need to start putting it on everything.  

Would I go again?  Yes, but, I’d probably BYOB some beer, which I saw some other customers doing, and won’t come hungry because the service was slow and weird.  There were at least three servers with maybe six tables total, but they were still scrambling around like they were in the weeds.*  It was really hard to catch anyone’s attention and took forever just to get waters.

I probably wouldn’t go out of my way, but I’d go back because GGD is nearby, the prices are fair (around $10), and the food is decent.  I’d just order differently.  They have some sandwiches, pork confit, beef stew, and porridge that all sounded yummy.

*In the weeds: a waitress/cook that cannot keep up with the tables or orders 

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