Who We Are
Vietnamese Mixed American
Traci is a former business exec turned restaurateur, who epitomizes the Asian American food experience in lifestyle and culture. A first-generation daughter to Vietnamese immigrants who settled in Houston, she grew up in a tight knit family where eating was a focal bonding experience. Her favorite memories are learning recipes from her mother and aunt, taste testing dishes and lively dinner conversations with her sisters and cousins. As a successful professional, her foodie spirit grew with each experience dining out along with obsessive experimenting in the kitchen. Traci would often wake up in the wee morning hours to brainstorm recipes, research restaurants and read food stories. During one of these sessions the idea of a fast casual Vietnamese concept made a powerful impression.
She shared the idea with her husband Shad, a seasoned chef and accomplished restaurant consultant behind many popular concepts including the “Counter Burger” franchise. Recognizing the void, he worked closely with Traci to create her vision of the food, storefront design and operation built to scale. Together they bootstrapped the first location in Mar Vista, taking the leap just as a global pandemic was exploding.
Pending doom turned into thriving success as the restaurant has become a popular fixture with the neighborhood, foodies, media and even celebrities who love the customizable menu, Vietnamese flavors, healthy ingredients and welcoming atmosphere that is their baby “Mỹ Lai.”