Emily’s Midsummer Celebration, Vietnamese-Style Dream Dinner Party

updated Jul 16, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Last night I realized that, for the first time in my adult life, I will be moving into an apartment with a real dining room. This is big news! I’m saying farewell to coffee table dining and crowded potlucks and hello to proper dinner parties. So, while I share my fellow Kitchn writers’ love of outdoor parties, I’m dreaming of the first dinner party inside my new home…

The Scene: Of course, by “proper” dinner party I don’t mean staid or complicated. My boyfriend and I will likely be ready to host people in July, so we’ll be looking to celebrate summer in addition to our new home. With luck, we’ll throw open the windows to a not too hot evening with a light breeze coming off the nearby Silver Lake Reservoir and the enchanting scent of night-blooming jasmine. Even if we aren’t dining under the stars, we can’t resist bringing a little of the outdoors in!

The Table: A vintage Danish modern dining set from Silica Three, Eva Zeisel dinnerware, and hand-carved chopsticks from ADrauglis – at once elegant, minimalist, warm, and playful.

The Decor: Fresh flowers from our local Silver Lake Farms. (As a side note, Los Angeles readers may know that Silver Lake Farms was ordered by the city to cease selling their gorgeous blooms; I encourage you to support the efforts of Urban Farming Advocates and the Food & Flowers Freedom Act.)

The People: Six good friends – a small affair, but anyone who isn’t invited to the first dinner party mustn’t worry; now that we have a real dining room, the parties will be much more frequent!

The Food: Fresh and Vietnamese-inspired, with produce purchased at the Alhambra Farmers’ Market that morning.

• Lychee iced tea

• Goi cuon – fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce

Banh xeo – rice flour and coconut milk crepes

Bun – noodle salad with tons of fresh herbs, served with lemongrass tofu for the vegetarians and thit nuong (char-grilled pork neck) for the meat eaters

Che bap – sweet corn pudding

What would your dream dinner party be?

(Images: Emily Ho, Emily Ho, Emily Ho, ADrauglis, Flickr member ClickE licensed under Creative Commons, Emily Ho)