Lakewood Vietnamese gem Mot Hai Ba has a new chef in the kitchen: Peja Krstic. Krstic was the opening chef at Uptown cocktail den The Standard Pour, later moving to oversee the kitchen at Trinity Groves' Moroccan restaurant Souk.
Mot Hai Ba co-owner Jeana Johnson says Krstic has already taken complete control of the kitchen, but they wanted to give him some time to settle in before publicizing the new hire. "Now we can get back down to the business of running our restaurants," she says. In addition to Mot Hai Ba, which opened in spring 2013 to rave reviews, Johnson and partner Colleen O'Hare also own White Rock-area breakfast and lunch favorite Good 2 Go Taco.
Krstic's new dinner menu debuts today; MHB staples like banh xeo and shaking beef remain, joined by several new dishes including crab-stuffed leeks and a very intriguing-sounding starter of grilled duck hearts served with green papaya salad. Of the latter, Johnson says, "That dish is a picture-perfect example of how Vietnamese cooking can be so simple and have such an impact at the same time."
Mot Hai Ba is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday starting at 5 p.m.; they also serve lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday).