Owner Ricky Dinh says his new restaurant was exactly what Bryn Mawr Avenue needed.
"You see the changes, if you've been around here," said Dinh, 28, of Edgewater. "That's why I brought it here."
The former manager of Uptown's Pho Lily saw all the new businesses taking an interest in Edgewater, especially successful restaurants like Nookies down the block.
So, he decided to open his own place at 1132 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. He even sold his car to help the restaurant get off the ground.
Now opened, he plans to serve authentic Vietnamese food to all of Edgewater — and not do much else.
"You have no life when you marry a restaurant," he said. "I want to get to know people. I love this place."
Unlike some Asian restaurants in the neighborhood, Dinh's menu has only 20 items, an intentional move to keep ingredients fresh and dishes consistent.
He's been open for only two days, but says one of the favorites has been the barbecue short ribs, prepared with high-quality beef, for $13.
"I'm not making money on that dish," he said.
Other dishes include pho noodles, salads, braised catfish, crab rangoon and wanton soup.
Dinh moved to the United States from Vietnam in 1995 with his dad, mom and sister when he was 8 years old.
His family members now work at the restaurant.
"It's nice to see my family come together, helping out," he said. "I grew up eating Vietnamese food. I love Vietnamese food. ... I love cooking. I cook at home with family."
The restaurant is BYOB and is open for lunch and dinner. Formal business hours have not yet been set, Dinh said.