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A Pedigreed SF Chef Returns to Arts District With Upscale Chinese Food

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Bao Hiroo lands along 2nd Street soon enough

Bao Hiroo
The future home of Bao Hiroo
Farley Elliott
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.

Great news for Arts District diners looking for something a bit more casual, as the San Francisco-based chef behind the popular Chairman bun truck and shop is expanding into a new full-fledged restaurant right along 2nd Street. The upcoming separate new project Bao Hiroo will be in great neighborhood restaurant company, as it sits directly next door to the still under-construction Downtown location of Father’s Office.

ABC paperwork is up now for Bao Hiroo, and — as the name suggests — the trail leads back to chef Hiroo Nagahara. He’s had quite the resume over the years, from working as the executive chef of Charlie Trotter’s Bar Charlie in Las Vegas, to running the kitchen at San Francisco’s well-received Nomica on Market Street. Back in early 2016 he brought The Chairman, his popular Bay Area Chinese food truck, down to the Arts District, and apparently loved the neighborhood so much he decided to grow.

So now comes Bao Hiroo, an indoor-outdoor spot just behind where Manuela sits, and around the corner from Inko Nito and the incoming Salt Bae restaurant. City planning paperwork says there will be loads of seats spread across more than 1,800 square feet of mixed-use space at the Garey Building, including tables both indoor and out. As for the food, expect bao buns and other Chinese food classics. As for the space, construction has yet to start so expect something around February.

Bao Hiroo. 905 E. 2nd St. #109, Los Angeles, CA.