A 17-year-old chef is bringing a vegan diner pop-up to Melrose on Friday, January 26. Billed the Vegan Diner Pop-up Experience, Kai Kani will take over the former Johnny Rockets space on Melrose with an entirely vegan menu of burgers, milkshakes, and fries.
Kani’s career started in 2013, while interning at Bruce Kalman’s Union Restaurant. Kalman brought Kani along as sous chef when he cooked at the James Beard House in New York. Soon after, Kani launched Kai, her first pop-up restaurant in 2014. After a series of Los Angeles pop-ups, Kani also interned at Studio City’s French-vegan spot, the Gadarene Swine.
In case you were starting to feel slightly less accomplished, Kani started her first business at the age of 10, Kai’s Kakery. This helped Kani land a number of high-profile private gigs, including preparing food for the Oprah Winfrey Network, LL Cool J, and Kyle Richards from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Kani also cooked for nonprofit organizations, including the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and Meals on Wheels.
Friday’s event is a vegan pop-up, but Kani also creates seasonal meals together for omnivores, while selling vegan and butter-filled cookie dough online. The Vegan Diner Pop-up Experience is from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m., or until the goods are gone. Walk-ins only.
Vegan Diner Pop-up Experience
7505 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA