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What’s Up With This Bizarre Fermentation Restaurant in a Hollywood Strip Mall?

Now soft open.

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.

Has anyone else noticed a tiny lil’ storefront come to life in an otherwise dreary strip mall on the corner of Santa Monica and Wilton? OK OK, La Pupusa Loca isn't bad, but still. Formerly a small spot under the name Joe Noodle, the glassy eatery has been reborn as Baroo, and comes by way of one Kwang Uh.

Apparently Uh has gotten around the culinary scene some (at least according to his own bio), working chef de partie stints at Daniel and Picholine in New York, then moving on to spend two years at Nobu in the Bahamas. Now he’s decided to open up the unassuming Baroo, which not only is in a less-than-desirable part of town for a restaurant with big ambitions, it’s also in a strip mall that’s being torn to shreds by parking lot construction at the moment.

Still, there is Baroo, a 16-seater serving up fermented toppings over simple rice and pasta bowls. Reached by phone, Uh says that the concept is meant to be a play on the hearty dinner bowl of a Buddhist monk, using simple ingredients only and fermentation in order to make ingredients last longer. What’s more, Uh says he’s currently growing much of the produce for himself for the restaurant, which is ambitious considering the all-day hours.

Want to check the place for yourself? Baroo is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can also scan their Instagram account here.

5706 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA