During the recent Parachute Market event at TPE, American Gonzo affiliate, East Borough was on hand showcasing the finest in Vietnamese flavors. John Cao, owner of East Borough recently sat down with The Pancake Epidemic to discuss the inspiration and the future of the East Borough brand…

Please explain the concept of East Borough and inspiration behind the brand:

East Borough is about Vietnamese food we grew up with. Everyone has their favorite dishes and we wanted to share the food that tells our story. No frills, no fuss, we just do Vietnamese food well.

What is your relationship with American Gonzo?

We are partners with American Gonzo, which provides as an incubator to concepts like East Borough to grow. Chloe and I had a concept and opened East Borough on a small budget. The concept had to adapt and evolve do to budget restrictions and kitchen capacity. We simply had to make it work. Paul believed in our concept and felt he could provide us with resources to take East Borough to the next level.

You both come from different professional backgrounds. What made you shift your careers and move into the food sector?

We have always been around food. Chloe grew up cooking with her mom on a roach coach before food trucks became trendy.
Throughout college, we waited tables and bartended and always had the pipe dream of owning our own Vietnamese restaurant. Long story short, we worked in the design industry, economy crashed, and we took a chance at our pipe dream.

What is your favorite item on the East Borough menu?
Pho Baguette – Brisket, Sriracha Hoisin Aoili, basil, bean sprouts, side car of pho broth

Any exciting plans/projects in the future for East Borough?
We are pleased to announce our partner ship with American Gonzo and are opening up East Borough in Culver City Fall 2013

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