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Chinatown Keeps Coming With New Cookbook Shop and Luncheonette

Now Serving lands at Far East Plaza

Outside the future home of Now Serving in Chinatown
Ken Concepcion
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.

You just can’t stop Chinatown right now. The neighborhood keeps giving the thumbs up to all sorts of awesome concepts, including the new Now Serving at Far East Plaza. Part cookbook store, part restaurant space, part pop-up kitchen for one-night events, the place is primed to be a major player for chefs in Los Angeles soon.

Now Serving is the brainchild of longtime fine dining chef Ken Concepcion and his wife Michelle Mungcal. The former chef de cuisine at Wolfgang Puck’s pricey steakhouse CUT, Concepcion has more recently been consulting on projects while building up the backbone of Now Serving.

So what will the place look like? Expect two different spaces, really, with one reserved for a whole collection of cookbooks and food guides. Los Angeles has been without a true dedicated cookbook store for years, and Concepcion says he and his chef friends kept clamoring for one long enough that he decided to open the place himself.

Along with that, look for a quick service restaurant component that Concepcion is calling a luncheonette. That means easy food at a workable price point, tucked into a small space with only a couple dozen seats. Concepcion was actually on hand with a preview dish of sorts of a recent LA Magazine event, showing off a salt cod chowder as part of a collaboration with Alvin Cailan.

And for special events — say, a chef wants to do a one-off evening event for charity, or to test out recipes for an upcoming restaurant — Concepcion will be able to use the room as a test kitchen and feedback center. More than that, Now Serving will also be a home for industry classes, events with cookbook authors, and other insider-y stuff as well.

There’s no official timetable for the opening of Now Serving at Far East Plaza, but build-out is currently underway. The space lands along the Hill Street side with frontage right out onto the street, and could be ready to go in just a few months. That would put Now Serving on a similar path to the new-look Unit 120, which is moving down the open air mall now that LASA has permanently taken over their location across from Chego.

Now Serving
727 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA