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Mama Lion Glamorizes the Glitzier Side of Koreatown

The big, bold space opens May 2

Mama Lion, Koreatown
Wonho Frank Lee
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.

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.

Mama Lion
601 S. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA

Wonho Frank Lee
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