Like any serious food city, making culinary waves in Portland is difficult—especially if you’re newcomers (Anna Vocaturo and Sarah Bui) serving a popular cuisine (Vietnamese). Still, the duo managed to gain a serious following after moving to Oregon and launching the Doi Dua pop-up, even gaining the rank of “best new Vietnamese restaurant” from Willamette Week. Thankfully for Washingtonians, the partners are back in DC and ramping up Doi Dua’s event schedule. First up: a Vietnamese fried chicken pop-up at Honeycomb market this weekend.
Vocaturo was on the opening team of Rose’s Luxury, and spent a year at the restaurant (fun fact: Rose’s also made her a Bon Appétit cover girl). The duo moved to Oregon to work in wine, and started collaborating on vineyard dinners with a Vietnamese influence from Bui, an avid cook with Southern Vietnamese family. Though they’re not searching for a brick-and-mortar restaurant space as of now, regularly recurring Doi Dua pop-ups are slated to begin next month (location coming soon). Each will feature a tasting menu with modern takes on traditional dishes such as bánh hỏi, woven bundles of vermicelli noodles with crispy pig ear, pickled garlic, and fresh herbs, or canh chua cá, a homestyle sour soup with halibut.
“We’re excited to be working on the tasting menu,” says Vocaturo. “It’s a lot of work—half the time we feel like we’re hungover from exhaustion—but it’s definitely worth it. We can do our own thing.”
Diners can get a preview this Sunday at Union Market, where Vocaturo and Bui will serve Vietnamese fried chicken out of Erik Bruner-Yang’s Asian market. The brined, crispy thighs are tossed in fish sauce-caramel and chilies, and served with cucumber salad for $10. Vegans will also find salad rolls stuffed with local tofu, Vietnamese herbs, and toasted rice powder ($7). Portions are available from 11 am until 8 pm, or until they’re gone.
Doi Dua at Honeycomb. 1309 Fifth St., NE