This has always been the plan for brothers Chad and Chase Valencia: Cook the food they want (in this case, modern takes on Filipino classics), their way, and hope for the best. That best, as it turns out, is a new permanent restaurant space for their concept LASA right in Chinatown proper, as the pair plan to take permanent control of the current Unit 120 build-out inside Far East Plaza.
Yep, Alvin Cailan (the creator behind Unit 120) just basically gifted his multi-functional restaurant space in prime Far East Plaza to the LASA guys, who have been running the weekend show there for a year. So says the LA Times, who first broke the story yesterday about the switcheroo and what’s next for Cailan and the rest of his Unit 120 crew.
For now, the Valencia brothers won’t be turning up the heat at Unit 120. They’re still doing service just a few nights a week (Thursday through Sunday in this case), but will close in February for a quick remodel. That should give them time to work into longer hours, and add a lunchtime takeaway component from the attached former Amboy window.
Unit 120 itself, the loose collection of rotating concepts under guidance from Cailan, plans to stay close. They’re moving into the former Wing Hop Fung space next door, with plans to reopen in the spring and keep doing versions of what they’ve been up to for more than a year.
When all is said and done, Far East Plaza will become even more entrenched as a core part of Chinatown’s restaurant resurgence. With Baohaus, Lao Tao, Howlin’ Ray’s, Endorffeine, and everyone else at the plaza, there’s basically never been a better time to eat at the open air mall. And now with LASA going permanent, you’ll be able to enjoy their brand of inspiring cuisine whenever you want.