Koreatown’s recent modern dining renaissance has officially reached its second phase, with the likes of Terra Cotta and the brand new Mama Lion, opening May 2. These are big, bold statement pieces for the neighborhood, incorporating Korean flavors and Continental fare into one seriously striking package — and this one’s got a high profile chef along for the ride.
That chef is Michael Hung, who helped open similarly opulent Faith & Flower years ago in Downtown, before moving on to run Viviane inside the Avalon Hotel for a time. Now he’s back with a pseudo-supper club place to call his own, working a menu that spans the gamut from tater tots topped with braised short rib ragout to crispy avocado samosas and full-on Osetra caviar service. There’s a full bar as well, which means craft cocktails and late nights.
As for the buildout, owner Robert Kim hired on Kelly Architects to bring a chic upscale sensibility to the corner address. Kim spent years at places like the Beverly Hills Hotel, and so it’s no surprise that much of the dim, inviting restaurant is filled with plush finishes, gold accents, and tall ceilings. It’s a less hidden destination than nearby all-night option The Venue, but no less inviting.
Mama Lion officially opens for business on May 2, keeping dinner hours only to start. The full opening menu is below.
601 S. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA