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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Korean dining restaurant ‘Baroo’ named LA Times’ 2024 Restaurant of the Year

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On July 9, the LA Times announced that Baroo, a modern Korean dining restaurant located in the LA Arts District, has been named the 2024 Restaurant of the Year.

Bill Addison, the restaurant critic for the publication, praised Baroo, stating, “In Los Angeles, where traditional expressions of the cuisine define the Korean restaurant ethos, Baroo stands apart as the city’s most persuasive foray into innovation.”

Baroo began its journey in 2015 when Chef Kwang Uh and his friend Matthew Kim teamed up to open a small Korean restaurant in a Hollywood strip mall. One of the standout dishes from their early menu, Noorook, received high praise from the legendary LA Times food columnist Jonathan Gold.

Baroo Chef Kwang Uh

Since then, Baroo has relocated from East Hollywood to the Arts District and now offers a seven-course meal priced at $110. The courses blend Korean ingredients with elements from other cuisines, showcasing Chef Uh’s unique culinary style.

Additionally, the LA Times recognized Chef Uh as a master of fermentation. The publication noted, “Kimchi, pickles, the Korean building blocks of soybean-based jangs and even buttermilk, paired in one sauce with lemongrass, open doors to unseen worlds of flavor.”

In a phone interview with the Korea Daily, Chef Uh expressed his thoughts on the accolade, saying, “It’s an overwhelming honor. I believe this recognition is due to the collective efforts of everyone involved, including my wife, who co-manages the restaurant, and all our staff.”

BY KYEONGJUN KIM, YOUNGNAM KIM [kim.kyeongjun1@koreadaily.com]