Falansai’s seafood curry soup is one of the wonders of the pandemic-restaurant era. The broth begins with peanut milk and a head-filling red curry instead of the usual coconut milk and green curry. It is intensified by lobster stock and mussel broth. The bowl is filled with good, fresh East Coast mussels and squid — the squid pick up a little char on the grill — and then some winter vegetables, like blackened broccoli and fried sweet potato.
Three coarse, grilled Berkshire pork sausages dripping with the scent of lemongrass come with broken rice, a Saigon staple, and enough pickles for a small picnic: a crunchy wheel of lotus root, a charred scallion, shreds of carrot, papaya and radish, and a green stub of brined Kirby cucumber with garlic and dill that might have come out of a barrel on Essex Street.
The sausage, the rice and everything else can and absolutely should be drenched in fresh lime and a sauce that looks the way the classic spring roll accompaniment nuoc cham would look if it were dyed green, like a Shamrock Shake. It is a fish sauce that has been left to sit with green serranos that have the brash, salty quality imparted by lacto-fermentation; the simple trick makes the liquid, and everything it touches, more potent.
The cooking can get more complicated on weekends, when Mr. Tran serves an elaborate remake of the beef-noodle dish bun bo Hue revolving instead around lamb cooked several different ways. There are simple things, too. The fillings for the delicate half-moon dumplings change all the time, but they run along fairly unmenacing lines: soft cauliflower or kabocha or some other surprise, more likely than not involving brown butter.
“Dad’s Egg Rolls” are, as the sticker on the box implies, the ones Mr. Tran learned from his father, who made them in Saigon before moving to the United States after the Vietnam War. Inside the fried flour wrapper, a bigger than average dose of tree ears is mixed with ground Berkshire pork, whose glossy melted fat improves everything it touches, like the warm butter in a Connecticut lobster roll.
Mr. Tran uses his father’s fried rice recipe, too. He mostly leaves the classic formula alone — Chinese sausage, Vietnamese mortadella, eggs and onions — although he makes his with brown rice. Against all odds, he gets away with it.
The brown rice probably points to the influence of Mr. Tran’s last boss, Dan Barber. Working as a cook at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Mr. Tran absorbed the chef’s teachings on flavor and nutrients and supply chains. Besides learning to prefer whole grains, he came to favor honey over sugar, a switch that adds nuance, and no doubt nutrients, to Falansai’s caramel-glazed pork shoulder. He seems to have imbibed the Blue Hill ethos of wasting nothing; when he ferments radishes, he throws the tops in, too.