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General Lee's Marching Into Chinatown's Mountain Bar

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Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

[Photos: Matthew Kang]

Bearing a historic restaurant name in this part of town, a new bar by the name of General Lee's is taking over the old Mountain Bar on Gin Ling Way, right in the heart of Chinatown. (The century-old eatery was once owned by David and Curtis Lee has been closed for nearly three decades.) At the moment, General Lee's doesn't appear to be open, though it looks like management has commenced previews.
The previous General Lee's lived as a former celebrity haunt in the 50s, drawing the likes of Gary Cooper and Frank Sinatra. This new rendition, which is described as "edgy, intimate, Hong Kong post punk couture meets Agent Provocateur," looks a little sparse at the moment. There's both a downstairs and upstairs bar for bi-level revelry, along with a pretty open floor space and plush seating. The bright red facade of Mountain Bar has been painted over for a neutral gray and the whole enterprise has a sleek, mod feel, not unlike a place to ensconce in Shanghai.

It's all part of Chinatown's rather hasty transformation from a sleepy quasi-tourist zone to a reliable place for quality food and drink. Newly planted in Chinatown is Chego!, Starry Kitchen at Grand Star Jazz Club, and 643 North, which is debuting in about three weeks.
·All Chinatown Coverage [~ELA~]