It helps to have a sense of humor when you're launching two restaurants. Just ask Hung Tram. A couple of months ago, he opened one in Chino Hills; this month, the second La Creperie Cafe welcomed diners off Pine Avenue in Long Beach. Hung found time between commutes to answer our lengthy questionnaire. Find out what he considers weird, as well as what he craves.
What are six words to describe your food?
Crepes, crepes, crepes, crepes, crepes and more crepes!
What are eight words to describe you?
Organized, passionate, determined, focused, loyal, honest, carefree, hungry.
Your best recent food find:
Shik do Rak in Garden Grove--all you can eat, Monday through Thursday. I love buffets.
Most undervalued ingredient:
Rules of conduct in your kitchen:
Work hard, have fun and keep the music down--thanks.
One food you detest:
Balut makes my stomach turn.
One food you can't live without:
Noodles! Give me noodles!
Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
What fast food do you admit to eating?
In-N-Out. It's cheap, it's good, and it's always there for you in the middle of the night.
Best culinary tip for the home cook:
Don't be afraid to experiment.
Kappo Honda in Fountain Valley or Honda Ya in Tustin. It's a late-night hangout for myself and a lot of my friends in the industry. We try to go there at least once or twice a month to catch up.
Favorite celebrity chef:
David Chang--regardless of what he may think of West Coast cooking. I like to think that he keeps it real. [Editor's Note: In 2009, the Momofuku owner told Anthony Bourdain, "They don't manipulate food; they just put figs on a plate."]
Celebrity chef who should shut up:
I have someone in mind, but I think I'll keep it to myself.
Favorite music to cook by:
I'm an '80s child.
Best food city in America:
It's between New York City and Chicago. Some of the best restaurants are out there.
What you'd like to see more of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
What you'd like to see less of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan, Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson and Eric Wolfinger, and Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook.
When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
I'm either spending time with my wife or chasing my dog, Bernie, around the back yard.
Weirdest think you've ever eaten:
None. Well, growing up, I used to think foie gras was weird until I tried it and discovered how ridiculously awesome it is.
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You're making breakfast. What are you having?
Two eggs sunny-side up, soy sauce and a baguette.
You're at the market. What do you buy two of?
Whatever's in season and looks good.
Weirdest customer request:
Nothing's weird anymore.