Roy Choi to Open Las Vegas Restaurant Inspired by L.A.'s Koreatown
The Las Vegas dining scene is about to get a lot more interesting. In a Monday press release, L.A. legend Roy Choi announced he's opening a restaurant at Park MGM in the fall of this year. While currently unnamed, the spot "will be a celebration of L.A.’s Koreatown district featuring immersive spaces that feel comfortable and familiar," the statement reads.
Choi, a pioneer of the food truck movement (and the force behind L.A.’s game-changing Kogi truck), has extended his restaurant empire across California, with Chego!, A-Frame, Commissary, POT Pizza Joint and LocoL. His forthcoming Vegas restaurant will be his first venture outside of the state ... but he's taking a bit of California with him.
"I want to pay homage to Los Angeles," Choi tells Food and Wine about the project, which is inspired by his city's unique Koreatown. "I want people who are from L.A. to walk by and think, 'This restaurant is for me,' to feel like someone has thought of them. I want it to feel like you’re truly in L.A., with the people and the food and the style the ideas."
Choi says he wants this to be a restaurant where locals and tourists mingle, where people can eat "stinky, flavorful, reach-across-the-table food" that you dont always find in Las Vegas.
"I want to take everything that has happened to me in L.A. in the last ten years and put that into a thing—I’m trying to create a new product [that’s] L.A. culture, all the flavors and feelings," Choi says.
The chef has stayed very busy over the past few months. At the end of 2017, Choi opened POT Pizza Joint, the most recent display of his uncanny ability to weave together disparate culinary influences to delicious results. (He's serving kimchi on pizza, and it's really, really good.)
Reporting by Elisabeth Sherman.