Porridge + Puffs reopens after three years

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Rice from Koda Farms is the backbone of the dishes Minh Phan serves at Porridge + Puffs. Photo by Wonho Frank Lee.

Rice was always the canvas for Minh Phan at her Historic Filipinotown restaurant, Porridge + Puffs. Three years ago, when the restaurant closed during the pandemic, she turned her energies toward the tasting menu of her sophomore effort, Phenakite.  

Phan has resurfaced with a new crew and a Michelin-Star for Phenakite. And she recently reopened Porridge + Puffs. "I do a very poor job at running the business," she admits. Porridge + Puffs launched in 2014 as a pop-up within her own restaurant, Field Trip at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. On its first day, former Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold walked in and wrote about it. After jumping from space to space, Porridge + Puffs found a home four years ago in Filipinotown.

"I'm a child of crises. I come from war," says Phan. She credits her ability to pivot with helping her navigate the pandemic although crises "really take a toll on good people." Thanks to her background in fine dining, she found the opportunity to express herself at Phenakite during COVID. With a laser focus, she opened the restaurant in 10 days. Now that Porridge + Puffs has reopened after a three-year absence, Phan reflects on the experience on this week's edition of "In the Weeds."

"Comfort is more needed now than during the pandemic," says chef Minh Phan, who reopened Porridge + Puffs after three years. Photo courtesy of Hazelnut Photography.