Xoia Brings Vietnamese Food With Mexican Flair to Echo Park

In Vietnamese "Xôi" is a sweet sticky rice used in many dishes. But in chef and owner Jose Sarinana's family, "Xoia" is the family nickname for his daughter Sawyer, explains his wife, Thien Ho. This blend of food, family, and tradition comes together at Xoia, a bright, cheery, new Vietnamese restaurant in Echo Park.

Guests at a "Community Night" dinner held Monday night after last week's soft-opening were treated to a few tastes from their menu, which is currently being kept tight while they get their opening weeks under their belts.

Merging Sarinana's Mexican roots with his wife's Vietnamese heritage and the flavors of the Hoi-An region, small bites like Pho-infused beef tacos exemplify the comforting broth of pho with the satisfying portability and spice of a taco.

Banh mi comes with puffy pink and white shrimp chips, and the pho broth (veggie or beef) is swimming with slippery noodles and livened-up with leaves of fresh Thai basil and crunchy bean sprouts (and some dashes of sriracha, natch).

Stave off the spice with slurps of their press-brewed Vietnamese iced coffee, or get your tastebuds singing with the sweet-sour vibrancy of the Mint Limonade Soda.

Xoia is currently open for dinner, but will soon expand to include dinner service, and more menu items.