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When best friends Mia Lunt and Sa Nguyen decided last summer to open Soall Bistro, a cozy Vietnamese spot in a strip mall in Marblehead, they were motivated by the idea of re-creating the dishes of their childhood. The timing was right. Lunt and another business partner had recently closed a tapas-style restaurant in the same spot. (Lunt, who grew up in nearby Salem, always thought Marblehead would be a great place to open a restaurant.)
Nguyen, with business development experience from stints at her cousins’ restaurants in Atlanta, was also ready for a new challenge. The restaurant’s name, pronounced “soul,” combines Lunt’s mother’s name, Soa, with the initials of Lunt’s sons Logan and Liem. Nguyen, who does the cooking, wants every dish to honor both their moms.