Isla Vista food fanatics and fashionistas alike have reason to celebrate since a new Vietnamese restaurant, as well as a designer boutique, have opened in the past month.
Pho Bistro had its grand opening on March 24, and Miss Behavin’ swung open its doors on April 9 to college women in need of fashionable jeans and tops.
The Vietnamese restaurant, owned by Trish Lieu and located right next to I.V. Drip on Embarcadero del Norte, specializes in pho, a rice noodle soup. Lieu said the restaurant focuses on pho because her children love the dish.
She said the main goal the eatery is to please, and she did not make any menu or service decisions without consulting her family and her customers.
Lieu said she chose I.V. as the location of her first restaurant in part because she has a soft spot for college towns.
“I love college towns. They remind me of when I was young and crazy,” Lieu said.
Because I.V. caters to college students, Lieu said she kept her prices low and has trained her employees to provide fast service. While she was forewarned about the reputation of the local residents, Lieu said she knew what she was getting into.
“I know Isla Vista has its reputation, but my clientele has all been friendly,” Lieu said. “I’m not worried.”
Two blocks away from Pho Bistro, the owner of another new business is similarly calm. Miss Behavin’ owner Kelly Scott said she does not have any qualms about the location of her boutique.
“Everyone is so sweet and great,” she said. “I’m not worried about I.V., actually I’m excited.”
The boutique, located above Bagel Cafe, sells denim jeans, tops, dresses, bikinis and accessories. Scott said she expects the store to be successful because it sells fashionable clothing for reasonable prices.
“I wanted to keep my prices reasonably priced, but good quality. I think the girls at UCSB need a good local place to shop,” she said.
Scott graduated from UCSB with a degree in sociology about five years ago, and is now back to fill the void in the town’s market she said she noticed when she lived there.
After five years of experience in the fashion market, including a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and a stint as a Juicy Couture representative, Scott decided to open her own boutique.
“My dream has come true,” she said. ” My whole life I wanted to own my own boutique.”
Miss Behavin’ carries a range of merchandise from popular vendors such as Free People, Havaianas and Junk Food. Scott also plans to sell the designs of her assistant buyer and best friend, Layla Pakzad.
“I’m so proud of Kelly, she pulled this store off in just two months,” Pakzad said. “She’s amazing.”
Scott strategically carries only one of each size of each item of clothing – she said she wants to ensure that new styles are constantly being brought into the store. She hopes to provide I.V. women with unique clothing choices.