Owner Hoa Lai opened the restaurant, at 3035 Clarendon Blvd, on April 17 and, other than having to close for minor repairs for two days this week, he said the initial community response has been promising.
A lot of people have come in and tried us, and we’ve had a lot of great feedback,” Lai said. “I was expecting this mostly to be a lunch crowd, but so far it’s been about 50-50 between lunch and dinner.”
Lai has been the executive chef at Four Sisters Vietnamese Restaurant, his family’s restaurant, for years, but said he wanted to strike out on his own. He and his wife opened up Four Sisters Grill with the hope of translating his family’s success in traditional, sit-down dining to the more relaxed and affordable venue of fast-casual dining.
A signature item, the 9-inch Banh Mi sandwiches, are $6.25, and the most expensive menu thing on the menu is $13.95. The most popular menu item so far, according to Lai, is the crispy vegetarian spring rolls. One thing Four Sisters Grill doesn’t have is the popular Vietnamese beef soup Pho.
“People have actually gotten upset because we don’t have Pho,” Lai said with a laugh. “Pho is everywhere. I want to have different Vietnamese food. I’ve always had a vision of doing something like this, bringing Vietnamese more into the mainstream.”
Four Sisters Grill is open for lunch and dinner, but will close from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., Lai says, since he’s a perfectionist and wants to return the kitchen to peak shape before the dinner rush. Despite the fact that Four Sisters Grill is the third restaurant in the space in the last few years, Lai thinks his concept has the chance to stick.
“I can only really try my hardest,” he said. “It’s all about pleasing the customers and giving them what they want. I want this to be a community place. I want to see kids come in and grow up here. That’s what I like.”