If you haven't yet dined at Baroo, the genre-busting East Hollywood strip mall restaurant that’s helping to redefine modern Korean food in Los Angeles, you’d better get there by today or tomorrow. After that, the restaurant is going to be closed for a over a month.
Per the restaurant’s own website, Baroo will be going dark starting Thursday, with plans to not reopen until at least June. Apparently chef Kwang Uh and partner Matthew Kim have some traveling to do, so they’ll be out of reach for the entire month of May, with no firm return date in mind. Sad for anyone who’s come to rely on the restaurant’s fermentation-forward lunch and dinner dishes, sure — but there’s no denying the pair could use a little break.
Of course, taking so much time off could cause fans of Baroo to raise their eyebrows a bit. Uh and Kim have talked before about possibly closing the small, experimental restaurant for good after one year in business, as the place was never meant to become the James Beard semifinalist hotspot it turned into. Luckily, Eater first wrote about Baroo in August of last year, so hypothetically that means the city will have at the very least a couple more months to enjoy Uh's food once they return from their time off.
Ultimately, hiccups like this are part of the charm and frustration of a place like Baroo, which is a two-man team doing it all from top to bottom. You might get less than efficient service sometimes, or be forced to endure the occasional untimely shutter, but it’s a small price to pay for food as innovative as what Kwang Uh is doing these days.
Oh, and in perfect Baroo style, if you want any of the restaurant's kombucha or pineapple kimchi while they're gone, just show up and haul some away for yourself.