Chef Phuong Tran: Executive Chef, Croft Alley at The Standard

Phuong Tran is Executive Chef of Croft Alley at The Standard

What do you love most about your city, LA?

What I love most is the racial and cultural diversity of Los Angeles -- there are so many different experiences that all impact how we engage, eat and live together. Observing the anthropological way of how we all interact with one another from different backgrounds is quite a study in human behavior.

Favorite breakfast meal and restaurant?

While I'm fasting in the mornings currently, I usually enjoy having eggs in all forms in the morning. When I do break from the fasting, I go to this small mom and pop cafe called CJ’s that serve diner style coffee and straight-forward breakfast with Latin flavors. It’s my favorite in that it speaks to the community and has lasted close to 30 years in an ever-changing restaurant landscape.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM - Starting my pour over coffee - it’s an entire ritual with the scale to measure out the coffee grounds and ratio of water.

10:00 AM - I’m at the Melrose Place Croft Alley catching up with the staff and often times will demo a knife skill or prepare for the day. After, I'll make my way to The Standard, Hollywood.

12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?

I’ve been practicing vegetarianism for some time now so I take my lunch at work. I’ll prepare a salad or a vegetable plate -- all afternoon meetings have been over coffee or tea.

7:00 PM - Now I begin to plan my own dinner as well. I fall victim to cooking a simple meal (2 pots or less), but I’m usually eating out and trying other restaurants. I vary where I go for dinner so much because it becomes my research and development.

11:00 PM - Although this is down time, I’m constantly engaged with what’s happening. I’m on the internet getting inspiration or catching up on reading materials.

Your post-work drink of choice? A smooth Bourbon over a few cubes and a hot tea on most nights.

Favorite Instagram account for inspiration?


What should everyone try at least once?

Going vegetarian for as long as one can. The industry needs to move away from meat- based diets to more sustainable foods. One can do this gradually.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Just got back from a permaculture in the jungles of Columbia -- would love to get lost again there.

Dish credit: Liz Barclay. Headshot credit: Croft Alley at The Standard.