5/09/2013 06:07:00 PM

Starry Kitchen Now Serving Lunch and Poetry Downtown

The always popular SK tofu balls
Starry Kitchen owners Nguyen and Thi Tran, never ones to shy away from a gimmick - he has been known to don more than one banana suit, and she's cooked an entire menu with pot - have been offering dinner at Tiara Cafe for months, but they haven't served lunch since they closed their California Plaza restaurant. Now it's back... sort of. In true SK fashion, the duo are now offering a drop-off lunch service where you pay for a poem - a haiku, limerick or sonnet - with a side of lemongrass chicken, garlic pork or lemongrass tofu, rice and a salad. The food, you see, is free.

According to Nguyen, this is a way for the once super-underground supper club that went mostly legit to get back to its "illegal" underground roots. Except this isn't really illegal, since you're paying for poetry, not food. Plus, with the dinner pop-up happening at Tiara (Tuesday-Saturday, 6-10 PM), this was a way to add some sort of lunch while the two continue to look for a new permanent home (we ran into him checking the new Chego digs last weekend... maybe a Starry Kitchen Chinatown is in the works?). As for the poem you're paying for, is it a joke? "Not if I can help it," says Nguyen. "They MUST receive a poem from me for their funds. If they choose to take the optional meal... cool." Honestly, the way he writes the SK updates, we're crossing our fingers for a delicious f-bomb-laden haiku.

The next Clandestine Weekly Wednesday Poetry Gathering (+Optional Lunch Delivery) takes place on Wednesday, May 15, from noon to 1 PM. You have to pre-order your poem/food, and you'll get a note as to where the drop happens. Last week it was at Angels Knoll in Downtown LA, but he might change things up. Get full details and order here.

And if you're more into the free-lunch sort of thing, Nguyen and a few other restaurants will be doling out free snacks at City Hall for the Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration on Friday, May 10, from 10:30 AM to 1 PM.

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