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Korean Fermentation Sensation Baroo Canteen Closes Sunday After Just Nine Months

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The always-temporary Union Swapmeet space is going away

Kwang Uh cooking at the old Baroo over steel stoves.
Kwang Uh
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.

LA’s popular Baroo Canteen experiment is about to come to a close. In a message posted to the restaurant’s Instagram page this week, owners Kwang Uh and Mina Park say they are moving on from the location inside the Union Swapmeet in East Hollywood on Sunday. The restaurant opened only in March, serving a new take on the duo’s popular fermentation-forward, Korean-inspired cooking.

Per the post:

Our run at the Union Swapmeet is finally wrapping up on the 29th of December... We couldn’t have imagined the amazing reception our little pop-up would have. Thank you so much to everyone who ate with us.

Of course, Baroo Canteen was always meant to be (and was marketed as) a temporary solution for Uh and Park, as they search for a more permanent formal location somewhere else in Los Angeles. The Union Swapmeet property is slated for redevelopment in the new year.

Uh previously partnered with Matthew Kim to open the original iteration of Baroo further west on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood; that spot went on to become a national sensation, earning tons of accolades along the way. Baroo 1.0 closed in 2018, and now Kim runs a location of the restaurant BBQ + Rice out of the strip mall storefront

Uh and Park have not publicly announced a new location for Baroo Canteen, or any other future restaurant plans, though they do hint at “another project or two for 2020” on Instagram. Meanwhile, the final day of service for Baroo Canteen at the Union Swapmeet is this coming Sunday. Expect a limited menu.

Baroo Canteen. 4632 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles.