VIDEO: Huntington Beach’s LSXO Hosts a Hideaway Haven for Vietnamese Cuisine 2017

Photo by Curt Norris

Tucked inside Pacific City’s spacious Bluegold restaurant, is the intimate 28-seat eatery LSXO (Little Sister XO).  The small space feels posh with its ocean view and a welcoming décor evocative of Hanoi’s colonial era. Leather seats and caned chairs; exotic wall coverings and dark woods. Bamboo slats.

LSXO’s Vietnamese-themed menu is vast, filled with traditional dishes as well as modern interpretations. One of the most popular dishes is Shaky Shaky Beef, a concoction that showcases chunks of beef tenderloin pan-fried to attain lovely crusting, and then finished with a just-right sweet sour sauce mounted with a dab of butter. The sauce teams a bit of four Asian sauces (oyster sauce, mushroom sauce, fish sauce and Supreme soy sauce) with fresh lime juice, garlic and palm sugar.

Photo by Curt Norris

Chef de Cuisine Mikey Segerstrom joined me to videotape the preparation of the dish. In in my home kitchen, he also revealed step by step tips for creating the side dishes, too. First, he made a delicious tomato rice spiked with ginger, garlic and shallots; he also added his version of panda sauce, a tempting mixture of oyster sauce, ketchup and Supreme soy sauce. Second, a colorful watercress salad was lightly napped with nuoc cham, the restaurant’s riff on the traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce.

Segerstrom grew up in Irvine. In addition to his Orange County gig, he is also chef de cuisine at Little Sister restaurants in Manhattan Beach and Downtown Los Angeles.


Secret Talent: He composes, plays guitar and is lead singer for the dance rock group, Analog Sway. The band’s album is available on iTunes.

Kitchen Hero: He says that hands down, it is Tin Vuong, adding that he is solid in every style of cuisine. Vuong is executive chef and co-founder of Blackhouse Hospitality Group with restaurants in Los Angeles and (with Bluegold and LSXO) Orange County.

Cookbook Favorite: “Southeast Asian Flavors” by Robert Danhi is super fun to look at.

Drink of Choice: Jameson rocks.

At-Home Eats: He loves breakfast for dinner. Peanut butter toast, sunny-side-up egg with ketchup … and a heavy hand on the black pepper.

21016 Pacific Coast Highway (Pacific City – Equinox end), Huntington Beach


Reservations strongly suggested.

Photo by Curt Norris

LSXO Shaky Shaky Beef

Yield: 2 servings


10 ounces beef tenderloin, cut into pieces roughly 1-by-2-by-2 inches

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Crushed black and white pepper, as needed

2 portions cooked jasmine rice, about 3 1/2 cups


2 to 3 tablespoons peanut oil, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon each minced ginger and garlic

2 thinly sliced shallots

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoon ketchup

1/2 tablespoon Supreme soy sauce

1 pinch chopped green onions

Steak sauce:

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons dark mushroom sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1/2 tablespoon Supreme soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon palm sugar, see cook’s notes


About 1 bunch watercress, leaves and tender stems, washed

1 pinch shaved red onion

3 to 4 cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved or quartered from top to bottom

About 2 tablespoons nuoc cham, see cook’s notes

For serving, final seasoning, garnish:


Fresh lime juice

Chopped green onions

Butter-fried thinly sliced shallots, see cook’s notes

Dipping sauce, see cook’s notes

Cook’s notes: Note that chef liquifies palm sugar by cooking it with water; he says it is easier to measure. You can substitute brown sugar. To make nuoc cham, combine 3 tablespoons fish sauce, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon sambal olek (or Sriracha), 1 red Thai chili (minced), 1 pinch minced garlic, 1 pinch minced shallot, 1 pinch minced fresh ginger. To make dipping sauce combine fresh lime juice, salt, black pepper and white pepper.

  1. Marinate beef in oil, lime juice, salt and white pepper overnight in refrigerator. Cook rice; set aside. Place ingredients for dressing and sauce on work area. Note that chef liquifies palm sugar by cooking it with water; he says it is easier to measure. If you don’t want to fry shallots, fried shallots are sold at Asian markets.
  2. Prepare Tomato Rice: Heat oil in medium skillet on high heat; pour excess oil in second skillet (large) to use for cooking beef, leaving about half of oil. Add ginger, garlic and shallots; cook on high heat until softened and just starting to lightly brown. Add rice and toss; when rice is hot, add in oyster sauce, ketchup and soy. Stir to combine and coat rice. Stir in green onions. Pack into two ramekins or bowls; set aside.
  3. Combine steak sauce ingredients and set aside. Heat large skillet with oil on high heat (add a little more oil as needed). Add beef in single layer. Cook until deeply caramelized and toss handle to turn beef (shaky shaky). Add enough sauce to cook into a glaze on meat; cook until medium rare and richly caramelized. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and a good squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  4. Prepare salad: Toss watercress, red onion and tomatoes with enough nuoc cham to lightly coat leaves.
  5. Invert bowls or ramekins with rice onto 2 dinner plates. Place beef next to rice and pour sauce left in skillet on top. Place salad next to beef and sprinkle with fried shallots. Place dipping sauce in two small bowls and add to plate. Serve.

Source: Mikey Segerstrom, chef de cuisine at LSXO (Little Sister XO) inside Bluegold, Pacific City, Huntington Beach

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