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Starry Kitchen's Balls in Limbo After Massive Crowdsourcing Effort Fails

The popular transient restaurant couldn't secure enough funds for their own space.

Elizabeth Daniels
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Consider Nguyen Tran’s balls officially #unsaved. The human banana suit behind Chinatown’s Starry Kitchen has been on a broad campaign to raise the funds necessary to put his once-illegal living room pop up into its own permanent space, rather than continuing to bounce from kitchen to kitchen. The whole thing has unfolded on Kickstarter over the past month or so, with Tran trying to raise the unheard of sum of $500,000 in order to keep his signature tofu balls frying.

As of February 1, that dream has sadly died, leaving Starry Kitchen in serious limbo. The campaign was always underlined with the notion than if the cash wasn’t received the kitchen would close forever. But in reality, it’s hard to see Tran and his full-time antics going away forever; his Singaporean chili crab alone is a local legend.

Tran posted a boozy thank you to everyone who has donated on their Instagram page, and keeps diners guessing with the ominous tag "Peace out (… for NOW)." Until ‘for now’ becomes a reality, it looks like the five year old Starry Kitchen will be fading away.

Starry Kitchen

943 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012 213 617 3474 Visit Website