Nederland, Texas: Brenda Tran’s dream of being a business owner started with the fresh, healthy meals she makes for her family at home.
The California native opened Cali Kitchen last week at 1513 S. U.S. 69 in Nederland. The Vietnamese restaurant also includes a nod to Thai flavors.
Tran’s extended family flew in from California for the grand opening last week, which, judging by the long lines of customers coming in and out at dinner time, proved to be a success.
The restaurant was full Monday as a smiling Tran walked around greeting customers.
Cali Kitchen’s menu is small, with selections of Pho – Vietnamese noodle soup – and Banh Mi – a sandwich that combines traditional Asian ingredients, such as cilantro, jalapeno, and cucumbers with meat in a French baguette. The Banh Mi is one of the happy consequences of the French occupation of Vietnam.
The Pho bowls are gigantic, but Tran also offers a small bowl for the more delicate of eaters.
Cali Kitchen also offers bubble teas and Vietnamese coffee (adding sweetened condensed milk to coffee? Yes, please).
Tran takes pride in her simple and fresh ingredients, which she said gives Southeast Texans a healthy, speedy and cheap alternative for lunch or dinner.