With Mot Hai Ba, Jeana Johnson and Colleen O'Hare Continue Their Plan of World Domination

Categories: First Look

Mot Hai Ba storefront.jpg
Alice Laussade
Mot Hai Ba storefront, caption: Mot Hai Ba, 6047 Lewis St., right next to the Texaco.
Jeana Johnson and Colleen O'Hare are opening a new Vietnamese restaurant named Mot Hai Ba tonight. I don't know the days of the week very well, so I checked it out last night, before they were open. So, take a look, drool, and drive your mopeds there tonight. Behold: A Sampling of the Food Things of Mot Hai Ba.

I was treated to three dishes at Mot Hai Ba. The first was their steamed rice noodle, pork, mushroom and crispy shallot. This came with a bowl of broth, which Johnson instructed me to dip the rolls into. Just as I finished the roll, a staff member came by my table and slid a fried egg into the remaining broth. Nobody hates that.

Because people have made such a big dang deal out of the name of this restaurant (Saying that "Mot Hai Ba tops the cake of really, really bad names," and "I'm adding it to our growing list of worst names for restaurants, ever"), I figured it was a good idea to clarify with Johnson and O'Hare that I had mastered the correct pronunciation of the name.

steamed rice noodle crispy shallot.jpg
Alice Laussade
Steamed rice noodle, pork, mushroom, crispy shallot things.

So, let me check that I have the spelling of your restaurant's name correct: It's M-o-t, H-a-i, B-a, right?
Johnson: Yeah.

And that's pronounced, "My Hot Butt," correct?
Johnson: Close.

Chargrilled pork belly Mot Hai Ba.jpg
Alice Laussade
Chargrilled pork belly and pork meatball with vermicelli, herbs

People seem to think the name of your restaurant is really hard to pronounce. Why didn't you just name it something easier to say, like "Mooyah?"
O'Hare: Mooyah is easy to pronounce but it's hard to spell.

I'm assuming you didn't name it something creative, like "Vietnam Restaurant" because that was already taken.
Johnson: My mom wanted to name it "Nom Nom," but we immediately said no to that one. We were like, "We'd never live that one down."

Why did you choose a location with so much parking?
O'Hare: After Goodfriend, we learned that lesson. Only external parking.
Johnson: We will be offering a discount if you ride a moped here, though.

mot hai ba art.jpg
Alice Laussade
Pretty sure this translates to: There's only street parking at Mot Hai Ba. Figure it out.

So you and Colleen have done tacos, burgers, Acme food, food truck food, Vietnamese food -- what's next?
Johnson: Retirement.

Shaking Beef Mot Hai Ba.jpg
Alice Laussade
Shaking beef, red onion, watercress

Tonight, Mot Hai Ba will open for dinner service. After that, hours will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday , and 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Sunday.


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7 comments
primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

"My hot butt." LOL. Duchamp would be gag laughing.

jeffoest1
jeffoest1

Nice.. in my neighborhood AND I have a scooter!

carol.shih
carol.shih

"Nom Nom" would've been so Twilight-bad-it's-good.

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

And bigger discount for the walker presumably ?

lassunto
lassunto

@margiehubbard

Is Hub going to pump you on his bike?

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