We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim Phan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kim, what is the most important factor behind your success?
We love our products. It sounds so cliché, but it is very true. If there is no passion behind it, you’re just creating a soulless product.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Building a restaurant when we were so young and with very little money was definitely challenging. Luckily for us, we opened our restaurant at a time when social media was not as trendy. We’re also fortunate to have one of our partner, my husband, as a graphic designer. His major in college and later career was graphic design with a focus on branding. He also have worked with and interned for many talented colleagues whom, he is still looking up to now. With a talented partner in house, he is taking care of all of our branding and design with of course, no fee. Recently, our family has grown a little bit bigger. My brother-in-law, is now also working in the company and his strength is in social media promotions and photography. Most of our photos are done in house and all of our videos are also done by my brother-in-law.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh we have so many good places to eat in San Diego and I am so proud to be part of our San Diego food scene. I have so many favorite places in town that I often go to. I usually cook Vietnamese food at home, but if I crave Hu Tieu, a Vietnamese Chinese savory soup, I would go to Pho King in El Cajon Blvd and I would order Hu Tieu My Tho, dry style. I especially enjoy a good wok fried rice from Tim Ky in Mira Mesa. Without a doubt I will show off our Crab Hut with a craft cocktail program that I am very proud of. For a nice view with tasting course, I like George’s California Modern in La Jolla. Going up North a little, I have a special place in my heart for Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad. Going down South, a very nice bar that would take me back to Italy is J and Tony’s in East Village. For sushi, I love a nice traditional meal at Sushi Tadokoro in Old Town or a fun, but definitely just as good, sushi in Adams Ave, Soichi Sushi. In term of yakitori style, I cannot pick between Taisho or Hino. They are both good in different ways. Taisho, in Clairemont Mesa, is very traditional yakitori where I find their food is always grill to perfection. A quiet date night with good sake is what you’ll find at Taisho. Where as Hino, on the East side of Clairemont Mesa, is more of a fun industry hangout. It has more variety if that is what you’re looking for. You’ll find me at Hino a lot and I often would order their wonderful fried mountain yam and fried pig feet along with a few skewers of chicken hearts and gizzards. Some nights, the nice chef would make us tamagoyaki, Japanese rolled egg. Last but not least, Sage French Cake on Convoy street. It has my favorite tiramisu, cheese cake, and banana mouse. If my friend can handle more food, I do have a couple more recommendations:)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents. They gave up everything and left their whole life behind in Vietnam to find a better future for my sister and me. They also took the equity out of their home, for us to start our very first Crab Hut restaurant on Convoy Street. Thank God, we did not fail their trust.
Other: Please check out our upcoming new restaurant, Kingfisher Cocktail Bar and Vietnamese Eatery in Golden Hill. Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/kingfisher.sd/ Instagram: @kingfisher.sd Web www.kingfishersd.com